The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

Saratoga Springs (39/50)(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 (20/50)

This category compiles scores on 17 different data points to determine how well Saratoga Springs respects and protects the liberty of its citizens.

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Code Accessiblity3510%This city's laws are available online and in a searchable PDF document.Web and PDF document format
Dog Licensing3310%Depending on whether the dog is fixed or not and the length of the license you purchase, licensing fees for each dog ranges from $11.66 to $35.Link
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 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.10-08-01, Utah County regulation
Campaign Contribution Limits110%This city does not regulate free speech by imposing a limit on campaign contributions for city elections
Loitering3110%The loitering laws in this city prohibit loitering on school grounds without lawful business.10-05-01(2)(c)
Violation of Ordinances210%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in Saratoga Springs the default penalty for a violation of any city ordinance, if not specified, is a class C misdemeanor which carries a fine of up to $750.1-02-12(1)
Gun Regulation815%Under authority granted from state law, Saratoga Springs has chosen to regulate the discharge of firearms in city limits; however, the city's law does make an exception for self-defense.10-10-05

Private Property (44/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees4610%The cost of a conditional use permit is $500 (plus a $75 newspaper advertisement fee). Additionally, the city may charge a fee of $1 per mailed notice to residents.Permit application
Home Building Fees4910%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $15,755. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $13,721 in impact fees, $200 in site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions1015%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone. Beehives are permitted in residential zones without a permit. Assuming a lot size of 0.15 acres, this city only allows you to have 3 dogs, no chickens, and 2 beehives.9-01-17, 19-05-06, 19-05-08
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 Government4030%The cost of government in Saratoga Springs as a share of the total taxable economic base is $108 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $398 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $555. The city gets 21% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 20% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 59% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt2315%The city does not have any general obligation debt. However, if counting revenue bonds, the city's debt limit utilization would be 7.00%.City Financial Statements
Lobbying15%This city does not employ lobbyists to represent the city.Per Records Request

This city also has restrictive land use ordinances that violate property rights.

Free Enterprise (31/50)

The final category includes 35 different data points in an effort to review Saratoga Springs'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: and Saratoga Springs Marina.City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions2110%This city regulates the retail sale of beer by prohibiting sales from 1 am to 7 am.5-05-03
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 Tax1320%This city imposes a combined sales tax rate of 6.75% on its citizens. The city also has a municipal energy tax rate of 6.0%, a transient room tax at 4.25%, and a leasing tax at 7.5%.State Tax Commission
Business Licensing4935%This city charges the following licensing fees: $75 for a home occupation license; $175 for a small commercial license; $14575 for a large commercial license; $50 for a temporary firework stand; $50 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $170 for two solicitor licenses.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations810%In Saratoga Springs, construction work, power equipment operations, and neighborhood commercial businesses being open are prohibited between 10pm and 7am. Sports courts and skateboard ramps must close between 10pm and 8am. Home occupations that receive customers or clients may only operate between 7am and 10pm, except preschools or daycares, which may operate from 6am to 10pm.10-10-07(1)
19-05-02(15), (16)

City Data

Overall Ranking: 39/50

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

Year incorporated: 1997
Population (2010): 17,781
FoG: Council-Manager

County: Utah
Class: 4
Cluster: C

MHI: $73,601.00

Best Score

Free Speech

Worst Score

Business Licensing