In January, Merriam voters will be asked to consider renewing a ¼-cent special sales tax to exclusively fund street and stormwater projects in Merriam. The City Council on Oct. 28 approved a resolution to let Merriam voters decide whether to renew the special sales tax through a mail-in ballot.
The City’s existing ¼-cent sales tax that funds capital improvement projects across Merriam expires Dec. 31, 2020. The sales tax can only be used to maintain Merriam’s infrastructure such as reconstructing residential streets, repairing and replacing bridges, and improving drainage across the City. Voters first approved a special sales tax to pay for these items in 2000, and it’s been renewed three times since.
Maintaining Our Community is The Merriam Way
Since 2011, the City has used revenue from this sales tax to complete 22 projects with eight more scheduled or underway. These projects include improving Johnson Drive, Antioch Road, and Farley Ave. with new roads, sidewalks, and streetlights. The City also completed Shawnee Creek and Meyer Creek drainage projects. As a result of this special sales tax, the City was able to bring in an additional $20.3 million through county, state, and federal grant programs and other funding sources that matched City contributions.
If voters approved the ¼-cent sales tax in January 2020, more than $20 million in planned projects are eligible for funding through 2030. These projects include Merriam Drive from Johnson Drive to Shawnee Mission Parkway, Carter Ave. from Merriam Drive to 67th St., and nearly 400 sections of storm drain rated poor to fair. The City will also use funds to continue maintaining roads and residential streetlights, sidewalks, and small drainage projects across Merriam. Funded projects will be determined during the budget process each year.
The City will host public meetings for you to learn more about the ¼-cent special tax on Nov. 12 and Dec. 10 and on Jan. 9, 2020. You can read more about this special sales tax at merriam.org/maintainingmerriam.
Things to Know
- The special sales tax can only be used to fund street, bridge, and drainage improvement projects in Merriam.
- The ¼-cent special sales tax has been in effect in Merriam for the past 20 years and was most recently renewed in 2010 by 75% of voters. The ballot language is the same language from 2010.
- A "yes" vote means your overall sales-tax rate would stay the same at 9.475%, and the 1/4-cent special sales tax would continue through Dec. 31, 2030.
- For every sales tax dollar we collect in Merriam, about $0.80 comes from people outside our community. This means since 2011, Merriam residents paid only about $3.5 million of the projected $17.3 million in revenue generated by this sales tax.
Voter Information and Important Dates
Visit jocoelection.org/registration or ksvotes.org to register to vote.
- Dec. 30, 2019: Last day to register to receive ballot automatically
- Jan. 7, 2020: Last day to register to vote (you must request a ballot).
- Jan. 8, 2020: Ballots mailed to all registered voters
- Jan. 28, 2020: Ballots due by 12 p.m.
Find more information at merriam.org/maintainingmerriam and click on Frequently Asked Questions.