The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

American Fork (46/50)(1 is most free, 50 is least free)

To learn what the below scores mean and how they were calculated, read our ranking methodology.

Individual Liberty (10/50)

This category compiles scores on 17 different data points to determine how well American Fork respects and protects the liberty of its citizens.

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Code Accessiblity110%This city uses an online, easily navigable and searchable database for its city laws.Municode database
Dog Licensing3310%Depending on whether the dog is fixed or not and the length of the license you purchase, licensing fees for each dog ranges from $11.66 to $35.Utah Valley Animal Shelter
Free Speech115%This city does not require a permit to stage a protest on public property.17-5-122(C)
Daytime Curfew110%This city does not impose a daytime curfew on minors.
Vice Regulation1310%This city exceeds the regulations of state law on public consumption of alcohol by prohibiting beer in a list of public places. Smoking is also prohibited in certain outdoor areas.9-14-010(A), Utah County regulation
Campaign Contribution Limits110%This city does not regulate free speech by imposing a limit on campaign contributions for city elections
Loitering1810%The loitering laws in this city prohibit minors (under 21) from loitering around taverns.5-08-320
Violation of Ordinances610%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in American Fork the default penalty for a violation of any city ordinance, if not specified, is a class B misdemeanor which carries a fine of up to $299.1-28-010
Gun Regulation2515%Under authority granted from state law, American Fork has chosen to regulate the discharge of firearms in city limits; however, the city's law does make an exception for self-defense. The code also has additional provisions regulating firearms. This includes:
• No concealed weapons except with a permit (provision goes beyond state law).
9-06-010, 9-06-010(c)

Private Property (50/50)

63 different data points are included in this category to discern the degree to which American Fork respects and protects private property rights.

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees110%This city does not charge a fee for a conditional use permit.Fee Schedule
Home Building Fees4610%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $13,559. This includes $2,394 in permit fees, $11,165 in impact fees, no site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions3815%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone with a $15 permit. Beehives are permitted in residential zones without a permit. Assuming a lot size of 0.15 acres, this city only allows you to have 2 dogs, no chickens, and no beehives.Per city staff, 6-11, 6-12
Short-term Rentals1715%This city prohibits property owners from renting their residential property on a short-term basis as is often done through services like Airbnb and VRBO.Per city staff (not a permitted use)
Taxes & Cost of Government4730%The cost of government in American Fork as a share of the total taxable economic base is $128 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $603 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $854. The city gets 23% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 26% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 51% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt4915%The city is currently utilizing 20.75% of thier debt limit for general obligation bonds; however, if calculated for all bonds (including revenue bonds), the utilization would be 22.37%.City Financial Statements
Lobbying15%This city does not employ lobbyists to represent the city.Per Records Request

This city also has restrictive land use ordinances that violate property rights.

Free Enterprise (39/50)

The final category includes 35 different data points in an effort to review American Fork's protection—or violation—of the free market.

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
City-owned Enterprises4615%This city owns 7 enterprises that could instead be offered by the private market: a redevelopment agency; a golf course; a reception/event center; a fitness center; a theater; a water park; and American Fork Boat Harbor.City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions2110%This city regulates the retail sale of beer by prohibiting sales from 1 am to 7 am.5-08-240
Alcohol Licensing1810%The city requires $300 for a retail beer license, $300 for a restaurant license, and $300 for a tavern license.City Fee Schedule
Sales Tax2920%This city imposes a combined sales tax rate of 6.85% on its citizens. Additionally, residents are required to pay a RAP tax at the rate of 0.1%. The city also has a municipal energy tax rate of 6.0%, a transient room tax at 4.25%, and a leasing tax at 7.5%.State Tax Commission
Business Licensing3035%This city charges the following licensing fees: $57 for a home occupation license; $200 for a small commercial license; $200 for a large commercial license; $260 for a temporary firework stand; $300 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $230 for two solicitor licenses.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations2010%American Fork prohibits ice cream vendors from selling within two blocks of any public school property in the city between the hours of 8am to 4pm on days when school is in session.5-16-050, 15-01-190

City Data

Overall Ranking: 46/50

Click here to compare American Fork's data compared to the other cities.

Year incorporated: 1853
Population (2010): 26,263
FoG: Six-member Council

County: Utah
Class: 4
Cluster: B

MHI: $67,595.00

Best Score

Conditional Use Permit Fees

Worst Score

Bonded Debt