The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

Spanish Fork (36/50)(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 (43/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Code Accessiblity3210%This city's laws are posted online in a navigable and searchable PDF document.PDF document format with searchable index
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 Speech3015%This city requires a permit to stage a protest on public property, but does not require a fee.
Daytime Curfew110%This city does not impose a daytime curfew on minors.
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.9-04-030
, 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.9-12-070, 9-24-010(c)
Violation of Ordinances1110%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in Spanish Fork 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 $1,000.1-16-010, 1-16-010(b)
Gun Regulation2515%Under authority granted from state law, Spanish Fork has chosen to regulate the discharge of firearms in city limits; however, the city's law does make an exception for self-defense. The code also has additional provisions regulating firearms. This includes:
• Minors prohibited from handling firearms.
9-28-010, 9-28-020(a)

Private Property (30/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
Conditional Use Permit Fees2810%The cost of a conditional use permit is $300.Permit overview
Home Building Fees3010%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $8,848. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $6,686 in impact fees, $328 in site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions2315%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone with a $15 permit. 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, allows 6 chickens, and does not limit the number of beehives.6-08-010, 6-2
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; allowed for whole home rentals, but renting out part of the home (room/basement) only allowed in Zone R 1-6 as an accessory apartment, with a $300 conditional use permit.
Taxes & Cost of Government2530%The cost of government in Spanish Fork as a share of the total taxable economic base is $83 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $331 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $442. The city gets 18% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 42% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 41% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt3215%The city does not have any general obligation debt. However, if counting revenue bonds, the city's debt limit utilization would be 11.74%.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 (24/50)

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

Metric Rank Category Weight Description Reference
City-owned Enterprises3515%This city owns 5 enterprises that could instead be offered by the private market: a redevelopment agency; an electric power company; a golf course; an internet/telecom company; and SF Gun Club.City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions2110%This city does not impose any day or time restrictions on the retail sale of beer.5-12-070
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 Licensing1635%This city charges the following licensing fees: $65 for a home occupation license; $65 for a small commercial license; $65 for a large commercial license; $325 for a temporary firework stand; $325 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $100 for two solicitor licenses.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations2310%In Spanish Fork, neighborhood commercial businesses may only operate between 6am and 11pm. Pawn brokers may not operate between 7pm and 7am. Home occupations may not generate traffic or visitors between 9pm and 7am. Merchandise for sale may not be displayed outside between 9pm and 7am (even if it is not on the public right-of-way).15-3-16-070(C)(1)

City Data

Overall Ranking: 36/50

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

Year incorporated: 1855
Population (2010): 34,691
FoG: Six-member Council

County: Utah
Class: 3
Cluster: B

MHI: $63,054.00

Best Score

Daytime Curfew

Worst Score

City-owned Enterprises