The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

Layton (21/50)(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 (40/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Code Accessiblity3210%This city's laws are posted online in a navigable and searchable PDF document.PDF document format (linked table of contents and searchable)
Dog Licensing2310%Depending on whether the dog is fixed or not and the length of the license you purchase, licensing fees for each dog ranges from $8.33 to $40.6-32-010 (Davis County)
Free Speech3015%This city requires a permit to stage a protest on public property, but does not require a fee.
Daytime Curfew4210%Layton is one of a handful cities in Utah that imposes a daytime curfew on minors.9-24-015
Vice Regulation3410%This city exceeds the regulations of state law on public consumption of alcohol by prohibiting beer in all public places. Smoking is also prohibited in certain outdoor areas.9-20-010, Davis County regulation
Campaign Contribution Limits110%This city does not regulate free speech by imposing a limit on campaign contributions for city elections
Loitering3110%The loitering laws in this city prohibit minors under 21 from loitering around an alcohol-licensed establishment, except bowling alleys and golf clubs where they might be legitimately involved in activities. The city also prohibts loitering on school grounds without lawful business or loitering that obstructs private parking lots.5-16-250, 9-08-020(3), 10-64-030
Violation of Ordinances110%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in Layton the default penalty for a violation of any city ordinance, if not specified, is a infraction which carries a fine of up to $750.1-20-050, 1-20-090
Gun Regulation2915%Under authority granted from state law, Layton has chosen to regulate the discharge of firearms in city limits; however, the city's law does make an exception for self-defense. The city's law also has additional provisions regulating firearms that may be inconsistent with state and federal law. This includes:
• The sale of firearms at swap meets is prohibited (provision goes beyond authority of state code).
9-60-020, 5-30-070

Private Property (19/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees3610%The cost of a conditional use permit is $350 (this includes mandatory site plan fees of at least $250).Fee Schedule
Home Building Fees2210%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $7,798. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $4,773 in impact fees, $1,191 in site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions3515%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone with a $30 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 3 beehives.8-03-060, 19-06-080, Ordinance 15-17
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
Taxes & Cost of Government1530%The cost of government in Layton as a share of the total taxable economic base is $70 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $273 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $460. The city gets 25% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 37% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 38% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt215%The city does not have any general obligation debt. However, if counting revenue bonds, the city's debt limit utilization would be 0.63%.City Financial Statements
Lobbying375%During the past two years, Layton has spent an average of $30,000 each year to hire lobbyists to represent the city.Per Records Request

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

Free Enterprise (19/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
City-owned Enterprises1315%This city owns 2 enterprises that could instead be offered by the private market: a redevelopment agency; a fitness center; City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions1210%This city regulates the retail sale of beer by prohibiting sales from 1 am to 6 am.5-16-110
Alcohol Licensing3110%The city requires $300 for a retail beer license, $300 for a restaurant license, and $450 for a tavern license.City Fee Schedule
Sales Tax820%This city imposes a combined sales tax rate of 6.5% on its citizens. The city also has a municipal energy tax rate of 6.0%, a transient room tax at 5.25%, and a leasing tax at 7.5%.State Tax Commission
Business Licensing3135%This city charges the following licensing fees: $60 for a home occupation license; $170 for a small commercial license; $170 for a large commercial license; $620 for a temporary firework stand; $620 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $70 for two solicitor licenses.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations3810%Layton requires pawn shops to close between 9pm and 7am and all day Sunday. Home preschools may only operate between 8am and 6pm. Model homes must close from 7pm to 10am. Kennels must close between 7pm and 7am.19-06-040
19-06-090(3)(e)
19-14-100(5)(b)(vi)
, 5.29.080
5.29.160

City Data

Overall Ranking: 21/50

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

Year incorporated: 1920
Population (2010): 67,311
FoG: Council-Manager

County: Davis
Class: 2
Cluster: A

MHI: $65,439.00

Best Score

Campaign Contribution Limits

Worst Score

Daytime Curfew