Cost Of Living In Salt Lake City (Taxes, Housing & More)
One of the most widely known and respected jewels of the American west coast is Salt Lake City Utah. It is just as well known for its gorgeous surroundings as it is for its food and culture. With everything that Salt Lake City has to offer, it is no wonder it is home to 200,591 residents.
Renting an apartment in Salt Lake City costs an average of $1,235 per month, with an added $131 in utilities. There is a 48.4% homeownership rate in Salt Lake City, and the median home price is $392,000, with $1,534 in monthly costs, on average. You may spend as much as $1,500 or more a year on property taxes in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City offers great infrastructure and affordable public transportation. There is plenty to do, and you can spend as little as $13 per person when going out to eat. Let’s take a deep dive into all of the costs of living in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Salt Lake City Housing Prices
The median home cost in Salt Lake City is a whopping $392,000, and that’s $107,400 more than the national median. Salt Lake City is one of the more expensive cities to live in Utah, along with Silver Summit and Alpine.
If you choose to build a house in Salt Lake City, you’ll spend between $100 and $150 per square foot. Buying a pre-existing home in Salt Lake City can vary in price based on the kind of house that you want. A single-family home can cost $320,000-$600,000, and a townhouse can start as low as $290,000.
|Housing||Salt Lake City Housing Cost||National Housing Cost|
|Median Home Value||$392,000||$284,600|
|Monthly Ownership Costs||$1,534||$834+|
The cheapest housing option in Salt Lake City is condominiums. A condo in Salt Lake can cost as little as $230,000, and up to $250,000 or more, depending on size.
Rental Prices in Salt Lake City
Sometimes, owning a home is not in the cards, and renting is a better option. Seeing as the homeownership rate in Salt Lake City is below 50%, it’s safe to say there are many renters. Renters in Salt Lake have seen a 10% increase in monthly costs over the last 10 years, and the average is $1,235.
Over 50% of the renters in Salt Lake City spend between $1,000 and $1,500 per month. Salt Lake City rentals don’t just apply to apartments, and household rentals make up 48% of occupied homes. The cost of living is high in many other Utah cities, but Salt Lake City is among the more expensive.
|Utah Cities||Average Rent Cost|
|Salt Lake City||$1,235|
The low unemployment rate accounts for the high number of renters and homeowners in Salt Lake. Currently, the unemployment rate sits at 4.1% in Salt Lake City, but sadly, poverty is at 17.9%. In the last year alone, there has been a 3% rent increase, but luckily, prices vary between neighborhoods.
|Salt Lake City Neighborhood||Average Rent||Average Home Value|
|South Salt Lake||$1,130||$347,546|
Average Utilities Costs in Salt Lake City
For renters in Salt Lake City, their landlord is not the only one asking for money each month. Utilities costs are a part of both renting and owning a home or apartment. Most Salt Lake City residents spend an average of $131 a month on utilities as a renter.
|Salt Lake City Utilities||Average Monthly Utilities Cost|
|Electric, Heating, Cooling, Water||$131|
No matter where you live, utilities cost depend on energy usage more than anything. Renters and homeowners with saving money or leaving a small carbon footprint in mind may use less energy. Electric bills alone cost an average of $79 per month in Utah.
Water comes at a good price in Utah and can cost as little as $0.55 for every 1,000 gallons. If Salt Lake City’s utilities seem exorbitant, look at another Utah city like St. George. In St. George, residents spend an average of $250 a month on utilities, which is almost double Salt Lake City.
Taxes in Salt Lake City
Taxpayers in Salt Lake City enjoy a simple income tax system, as the state has a single, flat rate for all income earners. Residents are also subjected to a sales tax rate that is relatively on par with the U.S. average and some of the lowest property tax rates in the nation. Let’s take a look.
Sales Taxes in Salt Lake City
Nothing ever costs as much as it first appears, and taxes are to blame for that. Whether it be gasoline, beer, groceries, or spirits, a state and or federal tax is applied. Utah has both state and local sales tax rates. The state rate is 4.85% and the local rates, which are collected at the city and county level, range from as little as 1.25% to as much as 4.20%.
The additional city and county sales tax rate in Salt Lake City is 2.90%, which brings the total sales tax in Salt Lake City to 7.75%. Fortunately, this is not the highest rate in the state. The highest sales tax in Utah is 9.05%, which you’ll only find in Park City.
Property Taxes in Salt Lake City
Property taxes are a cost that unfortunately comes with owning a home, and each city and state is different. Fortunately, Utah has some of the lowest property taxes in the country. You must pay 0.67% of your home and property’s market value in Salt Lake City. Your average Salt Lake City homeowner spends over $1,500 per year on homes valued over $237,000.
Some residents in Salt Lake County qualify for some level of property tax exemptions. Utah offers Property Tax Relief, and it can only be received by filling out an application. The property tax exemptions only apply to disabled people or people with financial problems.
Income Tax in Salt Lake City
In the state of Utah, there is a single personal income tax that has a flat rate of 4.95%. This simply means that there is a flat rate that is paid by all income earners, regardless of where you live in the state – 4.95% of their taxable income.
Taxable income is determined by subtracting all personal exemptions from the total income. In the state of Utah, you can claim a personal exemption of $579 for each of the dependents that you claim on your federal tax return.
Food & Grocery Costs in Salt Lake City
The average American has a monthly food budget of $550, but is that enough in Salt Lake City? If you are eating out at nice restaurants or even for fast food often, then no. A dinner for two, for example, generally costs $55 or more at a restaurant in Salt Lake.
Expect to spend roughly $13 per person or more on meals in Salt Lake City when eating out. Buying groceries is the most cost-effective and sustainable option for living well and saving money in Salt Lake. For example, a gallon of milk in Salt Lake City is $2.46, and that’s $1.10 below the national average.
|Food Items||Salt Lake City Cost||National Average|
|1 Gallon of Milk||$2.46||$3.56|
|1 Pound of Apples||$1.74||$1.18|
|Head of Lettuce||$1.48||$2.00|
|Chicken (1 pound)||$3.38||$3.18|
Some food items, such as a head of lettuce, is below the national average in Salt Lake City. Other common groceries cost more than the average in America, such as a dozen eggs. At the end of the day, market prices fluctuate and vary based on local supply versus imports.
Education Costs in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is not home to a university, but it does boast a great community college. Locals spend up to $19,383 per year on tuition. If you have children or are planning on it, luckily Salt Lake City has countless education options.
|Salt Lake City Education||Cost Per Year|
|Salt Lake Community College||$19,383|
|Pre School||$50-$250 (Per Week)|
Children can attend public grade school at little to no cost, or private primary school for $8,677 or more. Currently, roughly 27% of the population of Salt Lake City is below 18 and attending school. Daycare and preschool services are available and often charge by the week or month.
Transportation Costs in Salt Lake City
The transportation cost of living index in Salt Lake City is 93.4, which is higher than the state index of 91.2 but still lower than the national average (100).
Transportation costs are another important factor that you must consider in order to determine the overall cost of living in a particular location. These include expenses such as gas prices, public transportation costs, and annual car insurance premiums.
Public Transportation Costs in Salt Lake City
Transportation is an everyday occurrence, and it’s one that can add up fast. Public transportation in particular is a way to save money on gasoline, a vehicle, car insurance, and maintenance. It is also an effective way to get around Salt Lake City, and light-rail, commuter trains, and city buses make it possible.
Riding the train is one of the more common methods of public transportation, and a day pass costs $6.25. Day passes allow you unlimited stops for that particular day. You can also spend $5 and get a round trip ticket, and it’s popular amongst those commuting for work.
A one-way train ticket costs as little as $2.50, but there are free zones located downtown if you catch them. If you plan on commuting via train every day, your best option is the $83 monthly pass which can save you $70 or more.
If you leave your car at home for the night and take a cab, it won’t cost too much. Cabs may be less common in Salt Lake City than in New York City, but they are just as professional. You can hail a cab and expect to pay $3 per mile in Salt Lake City.
Gas Prices in Salt Lake City
Driving can be more convenient than public transportation sometimes, but it comes with several costs. You can currently buy gas at a rate of $2.62 per gallon, which falls somewhere in the middle price-wise. The average American uses roughly 656 total gallons of gasoline per year, which could amount to $1,718 in Salt Lake City.
Annual Car Insurance Premiums in Salt Lake City
The average cost of car insurance in the state of Salt Lake City is $1,442 a year for full coverage. This is higher than the Utah average of $1,186 per year for a full coverage policy, but pretty on par with national averages. Though, your rate can vary based on your age, personal driving record, the insurance company that you choose, and whether you opt for full or minimum coverage.
To help illustrate how car insurance premiums vary based on where you live in Utah, the following table outlines average car insurance rates in five Utah cities:
|City||Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage||Percent Difference from Statewide Average|
|Salt Lake City||$1,442||10%|
|West Valley City||$1,503||15%|
Flight Costs in Salt Lake City
As recently as 2018, exactly 25,554,244 people flew in or out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City is a hub of business and culture, so naturally, people fly into the city from all over the country, and world. Flights out of Salt Lake are reasonable, and a nonstop trip to St. Louis starts at $217 roundtrip.
Just like anywhere else, the distance that you travel, time of the year, and demand determines flight cost. A quick flight to another west coast city such as Los Angeles, for example, would only cost $137.
Entertainment & Miscellaneous Costs in Salt Lake City
They say that it costs an average of $16 per person for entertainment in Salt Lake City. Of course, it varies on what you want to do, what you consider entertainment, and even the time of year. Some activities are universal, such as a trip to the movie theater, but others can only be found in Salt Lake City.
|Salt Lake City Entertainment||Cost Per Person|
|Salt Lake Aquarium||$14.95-$19.95|
|Natural History Museum of Utah||$9.95-$14.95|
|Fear Factory (Haunted House)||$25|
Luckily, there are also many free forms of entertainment and education in Salt Lake City. You can take a fun and educational tour of Temple Square, and the Salt Lake Tabernacle for free. You could enjoy dinner and a movie for 2 for $48 or more in Salt Lake City.
Is Salt Lake City safe?
Yes, Salt Lake City is safe and has a rate of 73 crimes for every 1,000 residents. You are more likely to be a victim in Salt Lake City than in the rest of Utah, however. Only 1 out of 429 residents suffer a violent crime in Utah, and 1 out of 132 in Salt Lake City.
Does Salt Lake City get a lot of snow?
Yes, Salt Lake City can get at least 54” of snow each year. Even when it is not cold enough to snow, precipitation is still prominent. Residents of Salt Lake City gets at least 20” of rain every year.
What is the average income in Salt Lake City?
Residents of Salt Lake City make $28,428 each year, on average, just shy of the $28,555 national average. It can be hard to live in Salt Lake City on that wage without another income, or household income. Salt Lake City is the 48th most expensive American city, and a $45,833 household income is enough to live comfortably.
Is it Affordable to Live in Salt Lake City?
Your typical Salt Lake City resident spends $392,000 on a house. The cost of living for many Salt Lake natives is determined by the average $1,235 rent and $550 or more a month on food. Utilities costs add another $131 to living costs in Utah.
Public transportation is generous and effective in Salt Lake City. Month train passes cost as little as $83 and can save a fortune on gas. If you consider the move to Salt Lake City, remember how much amazing and free entertainment is available.
As with anywhere, Salt Lake City can be as costly, or as cost-effective as you make it. Making the move to Salt Lake City is a decision that is well worth it in location and quality of life.
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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