The sales tax rate varies from city to city, depending on various local options that can be added to the base rate by cities and counties. This metric was calculated by looking at a few different types of taxes where there is variability from locality to locality
Tax rates in each category or for each option we measured were normalized using z-scores and then combined. Tax rates were reported based on the prevailing rate most residents in a city would be subject to no matter which entity levyied the tax. Rates were obtained from the Utah State Tax Commission.
Except for the overall rate, the rates are the balance levied by localities over and above the statewide rate. The overall combined sales tax rates account for 50% of the metric score, recreation arts and park (RAP) option tax accounts for 25%, transient room tax is 10%, and the municipal energy and short-term vehicle lease taxes are 7.5% each. Weights were chosen based on the overall effect of the tax and the population that is likely to pay them. Because everyone pays the overall combined rate and the RAP tax, those were weighted higher than the tourism-related taxes. Because the RAP tax is a specific redistribution for programs outside the traditional role of limited government, it was counted by itself in addition to it's inclusion in the overall rate.
To see a specific city's laws for this metric, click on its name in the right column, then find the = Sales Tax ?> row in the table below the Free Enterprise category.