Orem Utah Guide

The Best Guide to Orem Utah

Welcome to Orem Utah America's Nicest City

This website brought to you by Denise Martin and Jessica Rowley, Orem’s Nicest Realtors, to help you get the most out of visiting or living in America’s Nicest City, Orem UT. Call, text, or email Denise Martin to buy or sell real estate.

The City of Orem was organized in 1919 and named after Walter C. Orem, President of the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad. The naming of Orem was an apparent attempt to curry his favor and attract future investments from this prosperous Salt Lake City resident. It shares the general location and history of Provo UT and was often referred to as the “Provo Bench.” The incorporation of Orem as its own city was spurred by the need for water in the area. Residents of what is now Orem believed that Provo City was unlikely to provide the public financing necessary to construct a new water system sufficient for their needs. Therefore, they incorporated as Orem and bonded $110,000 to build their own water system, drawing water from Provo Canyon and digging deep wells. Since then, Orem has grown to become the commercial and technological center for Utah Valley.

In a special election in 1980, the citizens of Orem voted to adopt the Council-Manager form of government. Since 1982, the City Council has consisted of six Council members and the Mayor, who are all elected at large.

Orem Geographics & Demographics

  • Square Miles: 18,241
  • Altitude (ASL): 4,771
  • High Point – Mt. Timp: 11,749 Ft
  • Utah Lake Acre Feet: 96,600
  • Ave Temp – Summer: 89 Degrees
  • Ave Temp –  Winter: 45 Degrees
  • Permanent Population: 98,624
  • Day-time Population: 135,000
  • Households: 31,029
  • Population 18 & over: 60,991
  • Median Age: 26.5
  • Developed Land:​ 92%
  • Average Family Size:         3.71
  • Percent Male:                     50.41
  • Percent Female:                 49.59
  • Percent Married:               65.2
  • Owner Occ Housing:         60%
  • Renter Occ Housing:         40%

Legacy of Geneva Steel

The First Major Evolution of Orem

In 1942, the Geneva Steel Works was constructed by the federal government as an inland producer of steel for WWII. Built along the eastern shore of Utah Lake, Geneva provided employment and economic growth to local residents, either directly or indirectly, for six decades.

  • 1681 Acres
  • 180 Industrial Buildings (up to one mile long)
  • 10,000 Construction Workers employed to build the Mill
  • 4,900 Mill workers at peak
  • Remains of buildings reclaimed to build Timpanogos Harley Davidson

Geneva Steel History:

  • 1942 – 1947:  Geneva Steel (owned by Federal Government)
  • 1947 – 1986:  U.S. Steel Company (1.5 M Tons/year steel produced)
  • 1986 – 1987:  USX Corporation (closed Mill due to Union strike)
  • 1987 – 2003:  BM&T renamed to Geneva Steel Company
  • 1999 – 2003:  Operated under bankruptcy
  • 2003 – 2004:  Assets sold to a Chinese company and plants dismantled 
  • 2005 – 2007:  Demolition of all structures and clean-up of site
  • 2007 – 2008:  Remnants used to construct Timpanogos Harley-Davidson

The Second Major Evolution of Orem

The landscape of Orem changed as many of its farms were converted to shopping centers and malls along State Street and the University Parkway. First came the University Mall. Later other strip malls, big box stores, and car dealers drew business away from downtown Provo, historically the central shopping area. 

Located at the busiest intersection in Utah (University Ave & State St.), the single level University Mall was built in 1973 and was the first mall built in the Provo area.  The enclosed mall consists of 1.77 Million Sq Ft.  In 2008, “The Village” was added, consisting of over 100,000 of outdoor retail and entertainment space. There is space of 25 stores and restaurants and is anchored by a 14 screen Cinemark Movie Theater.  The most recent update is its transformation into University Place, which includes office buildings, apartments, additional restaurants, and even its own park and amphitheater.

The Third Major Evolution of Orem

Ever since the City of Orem traded in its farms and orchards for the likes of WordPerfect and Novell, publications around the country have taken notice of Orem’s pro-business environment.

​In 2021, The Milken Institute released its list of the best performing metropolitan areas in terms of creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The analysis considered the following items: jobs, wages and salaries, and technology growth. The Provo-Orem area was ranked #1 in the country. Orem/Provo continue to receive Top 10 rankings for cities from a variety of publications as time goes on.

​​Today, there are dozens of technology companies, manufacturers, and service companies employing thousands of Orem residents, making the economic importance of Geneva Steel just a memory in the historical archives.

Orem State Street Sprawl

State Street is the Original Retail Corridor

Notably, minimum central planning in Orem has contributed to retail sprawl and signage along what has been referred to as “America’s Ugliest Street,” Orem’s State Street.  

Pockets of commercial and residential development intermix, forming a mish-mash of development and street signage.  Many businesses have recently been given face-lifts, improving the overall appearance of this busy corridor.

2022 State Street Update

The City rolled back the State Street Master Plan in February of 2022. City councilman, Terry Peterson, remarked, “This change will provide a greater opportunity for commercial and retail development — and we welcome those who wish to move their business to Orem.”  City Councilperson LaNae Millett stated, “Tonight, the Orem City Council put in place ordinances that will beautify and revitalize State Street and protect Orem neighborhoods. We eliminated unlimited building heights, increased parking and setbacks, and stopped high-density housing from advancing into our neighborhoods,” Millett said. “The beautification changes will make State Street a more inviting corridor and encourage increased commercial development. I believe these improvements will position Orem in a positive way for future growth and opportunities.”

Orem Sales Tax Rates

​​Orem City Sales Tax Rates

    • Orem City General Sales Tax Rate:        7.25%
    • Orem City Restaurant Sales Tax Rate:   8.25%
    • Orem City Unprepared Sales Tax Rate: 3.00%
    • Hotel Room Sales Tax Rate:                     12.82%
    • Short-term Leasing:                                  16.75

Distribution of Sales Tax Revenues:

    • State of Utah Portion:                4.85%
    • City of Orem Portion:                 1.00%
    • City of Orem CARE Portion:      0.10%      
    • Utah County Portion:                 0.25%
    • Mass Transit Portion:                 0.25%
    • Mass Transit Fixed Guideway:   0.25%
    • Utah County Airport, Highway, & Public Transit Portion: 0.25%

Orem Property Tax Rate

County = Utah County (0.0006610)
Utah County – 100 East Center Street, Provo, UT 84606  (801) 851-8229
This is a County Wide levy which funds the general operation of county government. This includes health services, county wide jail services, aging services, prosecution of criminals, jail bonds, regional park and recreation services etc.

Tax Rate Breakdown:
County:  0.0006610

St A/C = State Assessing & Collection Fee (0.0001260)
Multi County Assessing and Collection – Utah State Tax Commission
This uniform, state-wide levy is mandated by the Legislature to promote adequate funding for assessing and collection functions, on an equitable basis, to all counties of the state at a minimally acceptable level. Utah County contributes a portion of this revenue to a multi-county fund for distribution to counties which cannot generate the minimum level of funding.

Tax Rate Breakdown:
St A/C:  0.0001260

Cent UT = Central Utah Water Conservancy District (Cent UT: 0.0004000)
Central Utah Water Conservancy District – 355 W University Pkwy, Orem, UT 84058  (801) 226-7100
This county wide levy funds Utah County residents’ share of the local participation requirement for the federally funded Central Utah Water Project. The District represents the citizens of a 10-county area in administration, sale, and delivery of water for the Central Utah Project (CUP), as well as the operation and maintenance of the CUP facilities. Water developed by the CUP is used for municipal, industrial, irrigation, hydroelectric power, fish, wildlife, conservation and recreation purposes.

Tax Rate Breakdown:
Cent UT:  0.0004000

Met Wtr = Orem Metro Water (ORMW: 0.0000180 )
Orem Metro Water – Orem Public Works Dept., 1450 W 550 N., Orem, UT 84057 (801) 229-7500 
Orem uses a variety of sources to provide water to its residents and customers. Approximately 60% of Orem’s water comes from surface water sources, whereas 40% comes from ground water sources. Surface water sources include the Provo River, Deer Creek Reservoir, and Jordanelle Reservoir. All of Orem’s surface water is treated (filtered and disinfected) at the Don A. Christiansen Regional Water Treatment Plant (DACRWTP), which is operated by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD). Orem’s ground water sources consist of nine deep wells located throughout the city. Wells pump from subterranean aquifers and provide 25% of Orem’s water. Two mountain spring sources located in Provo Canyon contribute 15% of Orem’s water. Ground water (wells and springs) is pure enough to not require treatment. All of Orem’s water, whether from surface or ground water, is blended together within the distribution system. In 2015, Orem produced over 8.6 billion gallons of clean, safe drinking water to its customers.

Tax Rate Breakdown:
ORMW:  0.0000180

School = Alpine School District (School: 0.0056690)
Alpine School District – 575 North 100 East, American Fork 801-756-8480 
The Alpine School District receives 27.22% of their revenue from property taxes.

Tax Rate Breakdown:
School:  0.0056690

State Charter School (Charter: 0.0000550)
Charter schools are tuition-free public schools open to any Utah student. 

Tax Rate Breakdown:
Charter:  0.0000550 

City = Orem​ City (City: 0.0009250)
Orem City – 56 North State, Orem, UT  84057 (801) 229-7009
The City of Orem depends upon property tax revenues for approximately 25% of their annual budget.  

Tax Rate Breakdown:
City:  0.0009250  


Total Property Tax Rate: 0.0078540

45% Exemption for Primary Residence
Primary residences receive a 45% exemption according to State Statue. The 45% exemption only applies to the first acre of land, any overage is calculated at 100%.  There is no exemption for commercial, vacant land, or second home. 

Final Calculation:
Assessed Value x 0.0094280 = Gross Tax
Gross Tax – 45% Exemption = Net Tax  

Disabled Veteran Exemption
-Honorably discharged member of the US Armed Forces.
-Also available to the unmarried surviving spouse or minor orphaned child of a Disabled Veteran or Servicemember killed in the line of duty/in action.
-Must have at least a 10% combined service rating or died in the line of duty/in action.

Disabled Veterans – No taxes on the first $271,736 of Property Value

Contact Denise Martin & Jessica Rowley, Orem's Nicest Realtor, to Buy or Sell an Orem Home.

Real Estate Agent in Orem UT

This website is brought to you by Denise Martin and Jessica Rowley, known as Orem’s Nicest Realtors. 

Call, Text, or Email Us
(801) 602-9552 Denise Martin
(801) 960-8011 Jessica Rowley

RealtyPath Home & Family
1815 N 1120 W
Provo, UT 84604

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.