The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

Ogden (49/50)(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 (42/50)

This category compiles scores on 17 different data points to determine how well Ogden 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.Sterling Codifiers database
Dog Licensing4910%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 $50.Link
Free Speech115%This city does not require a permit to stage a protest on public property.
Daytime Curfew4210%Ogden is one of a handful cities in Utah that imposes a daytime curfew on minors.11-7-1
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.11-5-1(B), Weber County regulation
Campaign Contribution Limits4810%This city regulates free speech by imposing campaign contribution limits for city elections. The contribution limit for a mayoral candidate is $5,000 and the limit for a council candidate is $1,500.1-8-3
Loitering1810%The loitering laws in this city prohibit intoxicated persons or minors from loitering about alcohol-licensed establishments, pedestrians from loitering in a way that blocks or impedes traffic, the loitering of gang members, and loitering with the intent to do illegal activities.5-3A-1, 10-7-12(c)(1)(a), 11-5-9, 11-5-11
Violation of Ordinances810%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in Ogden 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 $1,000.1-4A-1(a), 1-4A-1(a)(1)(a), 1-4A-1(a)(1)(b)
Gun Regulation2915%Under authority granted from state law, Ogden 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).
11-6-1(a), 5-13(c)-7(a)

Private Property (48/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees1410%The cost of a conditional use permit is $175. Additionally, the city may charge a fee of $225 for site plan review.Fee Schedule
Home Building Fees810%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $4,273. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $2,345 in impact fees, $94 in site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions4515%Chickens are not permitted in residential zones. 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 5 beehives.13-2-4, 12-7-8, 13-4
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 (based on non-permitted land use)
Taxes & Cost of Government5030%The cost of government in Ogden as a share of the total taxable economic base is $136 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $532 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $758. The city gets 37% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 22% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 41% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt4315%The city is currently utilizing 1.09% of thier debt limit for general obligation bonds; however, if calculated for all bonds (including revenue bonds), the utilization would be 19.52%.City Financial Statements
Lobbying405%During the past two years, Ogden has spent an average of $45,000 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 (47/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
City-owned Enterprises4115%This city owns 6 enterprises that could instead be offered by the private market: a redevelopment agency; a garbage collection service; a recycling service; a golf course; a fitness center; a water park; City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions1210%This city regulates the retail sale of beer by prohibiting sales from 1 am to 6 am.5-3D-2
Alcohol Licensing2610%The city requires $297 for a retail beer license, $297 for a restaurant license, and $327 for a tavern license.City Fee Schedule
Sales Tax3720%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 5.25%, and a leasing tax at 7.5%.State Tax Commission
Business Licensing4535%This city charges the following licensing fees: $83 for a home occupation license; $328 for a small commercial license; $328 for a large commercial license; $104 for a temporary firework stand; $105 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $166 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 Regulations4210%In Ogden, rollerskating rinks must be closed on 10pm Sunday-Thursday and 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday. Private clubs and associations may not operate between 2am and 10am. Pawn brokers and sidewalk vendors may not operate between 10pm and 7am. Private parks must be closed from 11pm to 6am. Children in daycare may not play outside between 8pm and 8am. Mobile food trucks may not vend between 10pm and 7am. Veterinary and other pet grooming facilities may not keep pets overnight. Car washes may not operate between 10pm and 6am. Drive in restaurants must be closed from 11:30pm to 7am.15.38.5
5-4C-8
5-12A-4(B)
5-13B-6(C)
15-13-9(D)
15-13-12(B)
15-13-37(D)(7)
15-34-2(B)
15-38-4(B)(1)
15-41-7
15-38-5(R)
, 12.14.6(E)

City Data

Overall Ranking: 49/50

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

Year incorporated: 1851
Population (2010): 82,825
FoG: Council-Mayor

County: Weber
Class: 2
Cluster: A

MHI: $41,031.00

Best Score

Free Speech

Worst Score

Taxes & Cost of Government