The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

St. George (35/50)(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 (13/50)

This category compiles scores on 17 different data points to determine how well St. George 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.Sterling Codifiers database
Dog Licensing810%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 $20.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 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.7-3-1(B), 5-3-6
Campaign Contribution Limits110%This city does not regulate free speech by imposing a limit on campaign contributions for city elections
Loitering110%Loitering is related to trespass only.5-3-4
Violation of Ordinances1110%While some ordinances may impose a specific penalty, in St. George 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 $1,000.1-4-1(a), 1-4-1(d)
Gun Regulation4715%Under authority granted from state law, St. George has chosen to regulate the discharge of firearms in city limits with no exceptions for self-defense or other lawful uses made explicit in code. The city's law also has additional provisions regulating firearms that may be inconsistent with state and federal law. This includes:
• Carrying a firearm prohibited in a park.
5-4-2, 7-3-1(k)

Private Property (43/50)

63 different data points are included in this category to discern the degree to which St. George 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.Fee Schedule
Home Building Fees4410%The total cost of permit fees for building a typical single family home is $11,835. This includes $1,834 in permit fees, $9,801 in impact fees, $200 in site plan approval fees, and no plan check fees.Per city staff
Animal Restrictions4215%Chickens are permitted in at least one residential zone. Beehives are not permitted in residential zones. Assuming a lot size of 0.15 acres, this city only allows you to have 2 dogs, no chickens, and no beehives.5-2-1, 10-7B-2, Per city staff (not a permitted use)
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.10.14.22
Taxes & Cost of Government3130%The cost of government in St. George as a share of the total taxable economic base is $89 per $10,000. As a share of total personal income, the cost is $499 per $10,000. On a per capita basis, the cost is $739. The city gets 20% of its tax revenue from property taxes, 34% of its tax revenue from sales tax, and 46% from other sources including fees and fines.City Financial Statements
Bonded Debt3615%The city is currently utilizing 3.04% of thier debt limit for general obligation bonds; however, if calculated for all bonds (including revenue bonds), the utilization would be 12.09%.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 (28/50)

The final category includes 35 different data points in an effort to review St. George'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 garbage collection service; a recycling service; a golf course; City Financial Statements
Beer Sale Restrictions2110%This city regulates the retail sale of beer by prohibiting sales from 1 am to 7 am.3-3-12
Alcohol Licensing4710%The city requires $550 for a retail beer license, $550 for a restaurant license, and $550 for a tavern license.City Fee Schedule
Sales Tax1020%This city imposes a combined sales tax rate of 6.35% 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 5.25%, and a leasing tax at 7.5%.State Tax Commission
Business Licensing835%This city charges the following licensing fees: $50 for a home occupation license; $80 for a small commercial license; $350 for a large commercial license; $150 for a temporary firework stand; $150 for a temporary christmas tree lot; and $30 for two solicitor licenses.City Fee Schedule
Commerce Regulations4510%St. George prohibits construction activities on Sunday, and only between 8am and 4pm on Saturday. Places of amusement must close from 12:30am to 6am, and midnight on Saturday night. Public dance halls may not be open between 1am and 6am, and must close on Sunday. Pawn shops must close 7pm to 7am, but may stay open on Saturday until 11pm. Pool halls must close from midnight to 6am.3-2E-5

City Data

Overall Ranking: 35/50

Click here to compare St. George's data compared to the other cities.

Year incorporated: 1862
Population (2010): 72,897
FoG: Six-member Council

County: Washington
Class: 2
Cluster: A

MHI: $47,986.00

Best Score

Campaign Contribution Limits

Worst Score

Gun Regulation