The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

City-owned Enterprises

Category: Free Enterprise

Municipalities often own and operate businesses in direct competition with the private sector. This is unfair, ineffecient, and undermines our free enterprise system.

Government should not own or operate businesses that compete with the private market. This pits entreprenuers against the resources of taxpayers. Government can offset the costs of these enterprises by absorbing staff and other overhead costs in the general city budget. This leads to inefficient pricing and places the preferences and whims of elected officials ahead of market forces as a guide for what should be economic decisions.

In some cases, city-owned enterprises operate at a loss or at break-even levels, and other times cities use enterprise revenue to subsidize a higher level of government spending that would not otherwise be sustainable through tax revenue alone.

We found cities in Utah to own or operate a number of enterprises across a variety of categories including electric utilities, garbage service, golf courses, waterparks, theaters, fitness centers and more. In many of these cases there are private firms ready and able to contract with the city for certain services and market forces that would be more appropriate in independently providing other services.

We scored each city based on how many categories in which it operates an enterprise out of a possible of thirteen total categories. The totals were normalized using statistical z-scores.

To see a specific city's laws for this metric, click on its name in the right column, then find the row in the table below the Free Enterprise category.

City Scores

To learn about our scoring methodology, click here.

Rank City Score
1Heber City1.564
1Highland1.564
1West Haven1.564
4Clinton1.093
4Eagle Mountain1.093
4Farmington1.093
4Midvale1.093
4Riverton1.093
4Saratoga Springs1.093
4South Ogden1.093
4West Jordan1.093
4Woods Cross1.093
13Cedar Hills0.622
13Centerville0.622
13Clearfield0.622
13Kaysville0.622
13Layton0.622
13Lindon0.622
13North Ogden0.622
13South Salt Lake0.622
13Syracuse0.622
22Herriman0.151
22Holladay0.151
22North Salt Lake0.151
22Orem0.151
22Pleasant Grove0.151
22Roy0.151
22South Jordan0.151
22Tooele0.151
30Bountiful-0.320
30Cottonwood Heights-0.320
30Lehi-0.320
30Murray-0.320
30Taylorsville-0.320
35Draper-0.791
35Payson-0.791
35Salt Lake City-0.791
35Spanish Fork-0.791
35Springville-0.791
35St. George-0.791
41Brigham City-1.262
41Hurricane-1.262
41Ogden-1.262
41Sandy-1.262
41West Valley City-1.262
46American Fork-1.733
46Cedar City-1.733
46Logan-1.733
46Provo-1.733
46Washington-1.733