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Kaysville residents say city is misusing power funds

KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A group of residents in Kaysville say they're being taxed without fair representation. Now they're trying to get a question on the November ballot that they say will make the way the city collects money more transparent.
KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A group of residents in Kaysville say they're being taxed without fair representation. Now they're trying to get a question on the November ballot that they say will make the way the city collects money more transparent.

“There is no public process there, there is no transparency,” said Gregory Frank, a organizer behind the ballot initiative.

The people behind the ballot initiative have a problem with how the city of Kaysville is collecting and using money from the city-owned power company.

Money that they say should only be used for power projects is instead going to the city's general fund. As recently as last year, power money paid for three police officers.

The problem critics say is instead of raising property taxes for revenue, which by law requires public hearings, the city is raising utilities rates which does not require the same public process.

“What we're trying to do is keep Kaysville city from circumventing Truth in Taxation laws,” said Frank. “It's basically a tax and when they raise a tax they should get a public process.”

The mayor of Kaysville acknowledges that the city does use power money for general fund purposes, like hiring the officers, but he said the city maintained a level of transparency.

“It's not required by state law to have a public hearing, we had one anyway,” said Mayor Steve Hiatt. “We wanted to be as transparent as possible about this process and those funds were used to support police department.”

Mayor Hiatt said the majority of the money collected stays in the power budget and he said even with any increase, power rates in Kaysville are still lower than Rocky Mountain's rates.

“When you put forward an initiative, at least for me the perception is something is broken, but there seems to be an overwhelming evidence that speaks to the contrary,” said Hiatt.

Frank insists the way things are now is broken and that's why he wants residents to approve a ballot initiative that would force the city to only use power money for power purposes.

Organizers have collected around 1,000 signatures which is half of the 2,000 they'll need by April 15 if they want this issue on the November ballot.

If you would like to read the ballot initiative, click here.
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