The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

Midvale (29/50)(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 (15/50)

This category compiles scores on 17 different data points to determine how well Midvale 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.Code Publishing database
Dog Licensing1910%Depending on whether the dog is fixed or not and the length of the license you purchase, licensing fees for each dog ranges from $10. to $30.Salt Lake Co. Animal Services
Free Speech115%This city does not require a permit to stage a protest on public property.
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.9-32-090, 9-34-085
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 loitering related to prostitution, loitering with the intent to look through a window to watch someone undress, or loitering with the intent to get alcoholic drinks purchased for them.9-54-070, 9-46-020, 9-40-020, 9-32-080
Violation of Ordinances1110%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in Midvale 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 $1,000.1-01-070, County
Gun Regulation2915%Under authority granted from state law, Midvale 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).
9-82-060, 5-22-090

Private Property (31/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees2010%The cost of a conditional use permit is $250.Fee Schedule
Home Building Fees1110%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $4,875. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $1,830 in impact fees, $20 in site plan approval fees, and $1,191 in plan check fees.City estimate
Animal Restrictions4415%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone with a $75 permit. Beehives are permitted in residential zones with a $250 city permit. Assuming a lot size of 0.15 acres, this city only allows you to have 2 dogs, allows 2 chickens, and 2 beehives.6-04-340, 17-7-1.11(B)(2)(h), 17-7-1
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 Government1930%The cost of government in Midvale as a share of the total taxable economic base is $72 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $318 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $479. The city gets 14% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 39% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 47% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt4515%The city is currently utilizing 0.80% of thier debt limit for general obligation bonds; however, if calculated for all bonds (including revenue bonds), the utilization would be 21.49%.City Financial Statements
Lobbying395%During the past two years, Midvale has spent an average of $40,750 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 (33/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
City-owned Enterprises415%This city owns one enterprise that could instead be offered by the private market: a redevelopment agency; City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions1210%This city regulates the retail sale of beer by prohibiting sales from 1 am to 6 am.5-10-080
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 Tax4120%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 5.75%, and a leasing tax at 7.5%.State Tax Commission
Business Licensing3935%This city charges the following licensing fees: $40 for a home occupation license; $129 for a small commercial license; $2979 for a large commercial license; $380 for a temporary firework stand; $381 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $180 for two solicitor licenses. The city also has a Good Landlord program that reduces the high per-unit rental fees if landlords comply with additional city regulations, which includes restrictions on who the landlord can rent his or her property to.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations3510%In Midvale, self-service storage facilities may not allow customer access between 9pm and 7am. Outdoor dining at restaurants is prohibited between 10:30pm and 7am. Vending carts and food carts are not allowed to operate between 10pm and 6am. Seasonal produce stands, Christmas tree lots, and fireworks stands may not operate between 10pm and 10am. Seasonal flower stands may not operate between 10pm and 8am.17-7-7.11(B)(1)(c)(ii)(D)
17-7-7.11(B)(2)(c)(vi)
17-7-7.12(B)(1)(k)
17-7-7.12(B)(3)(f)
17-7-7.12(B)(6)(k)

City Data

Overall Ranking: 29/50

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

Year incorporated: 1909
Population (2010): 27,964
FoG: Six-member Council

County: Salt Lake
Class: 4
Cluster: B

MHI: $48,008.00

Best Score

Campaign Contribution Limits

Worst Score

Bonded Debt