The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

South Salt Lake (47/50)(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 (34/50)

This category compiles scores on 17 different data points to determine how well South Salt Lake 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 Licensing4510%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 $40.Fee schedule
Free Speech3015%This city requires a permit to stage a protest on public property, but does not require a fee.Per city police
Daytime Curfew110%This city does not impose a daytime curfew on minors.
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.9-24-010, 12-56-140
Campaign Contribution Limits110%This city does not regulate free speech by imposing a limit on campaign contributions for city elections
Loitering110%The city does not include any specific loitering laws in its code.
Violation of Ordinances1110%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in South Salt Lake 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.
Gun Regulation2915%Under authority granted from state law, South Salt Lake 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:
• Carrying a firearm is prohibited in a park.
• The mayor may prohibit the sale of firearms in an emergency.
9-16-020, 12-44-090, 2-04-040(c)

Private Property (46/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees1810%The cost of a conditional use permit is $100 for home occupation, $200 for category 1, and $400 for category 2 (this is in addition to fees for items required by the Community Development Department). Additionally, the city may charge a fee of $25 for an administrative hearing.Fee Schedule
Home Building Fees610%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $3,758. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $733 in impact fees, $1,191 in site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions4815%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone with a $75 permit. Beehives are not permitted in residential zones. Assuming a lot size of 0.15 acres, this city only allows you to have 2 dogs, allows 4 chickens, and no beehives.6-04-020, 6-08, 17-15
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 Government4930%The cost of government in South Salt Lake as a share of the total taxable economic base is $139 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $962 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $1,055. The city gets 22% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 52% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 26% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt1915%The city does not have any general obligation debt. However, if counting revenue bonds, the city's debt limit utilization would be 6.68%.City Financial Statements
Lobbying385%During the past two years, South Salt Lake has spent an average of $40,000 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 (45/50)

The final category includes 35 different data points in an effort to review South Salt Lake'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; and Columbus Senior Center, Housing.City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions110%This city does not impose any day or time restrictions on the retail sale of beer.5-08-400
Alcohol Licensing4910%The city requires $300 for a retail beer license, $1,000 for a restaurant license, and $1,250 for a tavern license.City Fee Schedule
Sales Tax5020%This city imposes a combined sales tax rate of 7.05% 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 Licensing4135%This city charges the following licensing fees: $61 for a home occupation license; $372 for a small commercial license; $1633 for a large commercial license; $94 for a temporary firework stand; $95 for a temporary christmas tree lot. The city also has a Good Landlord program that reduces the high per-unit rental fees if landlords comply with additional city regulations.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations4610%In South Salt Lake, pawn shops may not open between 7pm and 7am. Dances may not be conducted between 1am and 8am, and none on Sunday. Home occupations must not operate between the hours of 8pm and 7am. Sale of valuable items at auction may not take place between 6pm and 8am. Seasonal businesses (such as fireworks or Christmas tree stands) may not be open from 10pm to 8am. Vending carts may not sell between 9pm and 10am.5-48-110
5-26-060
17-06-130(A)(1)(i)
5-12-300
17-17-010
17-08-050(G)(9)
, 5.26.060(B)

City Data

Overall Ranking: 47/50

Click here to compare South Salt Lake's data compared to the other cities.

Year incorporated: 1938
Population (2010): 23,617
FoG: Council-Mayor

County: Salt Lake
Class: 4
Cluster: B

MHI: $35,514.00

Best Score

Daytime Curfew

Worst Score

Sales Tax