Special Street and Stormwater Sales Tax Renewal
Merriam Voters Approve 1/4-cent Special Sales Tax Renewal
Merriam registered voters said ‘yes’ to renewing a 1/4-cent special sales tax by 80%. The tax pays for the City’s street and stormwater projects.
More than 2,000 residents cast their ballots with a 28% voter turnout.
The special sales tax can only be used to fund street, bridge, and drainage improvement projects in Merriam.
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 52,000 feet 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.
The City’s existing street and stormwater sales tax expires at the end of this year. Voters first approved the special sales tax to pay for these capital improvement projects in 2000 and renewed the tax twice since.
Thank you for entrusting us to use your money to provide the high level of service you deserve and expect from our city.
Maintaining Our Community is The Merriam Way
Merriam voters in January will have the opportunity to renew the existing ¼-cent street and stormwater sales tax. Through a mail-in ballot, voters will decide if the City should continue to collect the special sales tax to exclusively fund capital improvement projects in Merriam. This sales tax has been in effect in Merriam for the past 20 years and was most recently renewed by 75% of voters in 2010.
The City invests in capital improvements to keep infrastructure strong, streets clear, and residents safe. This sales tax renewal will continue to fund critical projects that are core to the City’s basic infrastructure.
About the Special Sales Tax Renewal
The City's existing 1/4-cent special sales tax that funds streets and stormwater projects across Merriam is set to expire Dec. 31, 2020.
The sales tax can only be used to maintain Merriam's infrastructure, which includes projects like reconstructing residential streets, bridge repairs/replacement, and drainage improvements.
Since 2011, the City's collected more than $15 million from this tax and used the money to complete 22 projects (see before and after photos on right), 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, just to name a few. As a result of this special sales tax, the City is expected to leverage $17.9 million by the end of 2020 for those projects through county, state, and federal grant programs that matched City contributions.
In January 2020, residents will be asked to vote to renew this 1/4-cent special sales tax so the City can continue to keep Merriam's streets and sidewalks up to your expectations.
Things to Know:
- The special sales tax can only be used to fund infrastructure improvement projects in Merriam.
- The ballot language is the same language from 2010, when 75% of voters approved the special tax renewal.
- 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 dollar of sales tax 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.
Read Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the special sales tax renewal, including what projects have been paid for with this special sales tax in the past (see google map on right) and what projects will be eligible for funding if it's renewed.
Shall the City of Merriam, Kansas be authorized to levy a special purpose city retailers’ sales tax in the amount of one-fourth of one percent (.25%) and to use revenue from such tax to pay the cost of improving certain City streets, bridges and associated drainage, which improvements may include grading, curbs, gutters, pavement and other surfacing, driveway entrances and structures, drainage work incidental thereto, service connections from utility mains, conduits or pipes necessarily lying within curb lines, streetlights, street lighting systems, storm water drains, retaining walls and area walls on public ways or land abutting thereon, sidewalks, street trees and landscaping, stormwater drainage projects, and all related improvements (“Improvements”) and all things necessary and related to such Improvements, and be authorized to pledge such sales tax for the payment of the principal and interest on general obligation bonds issued to pay the cost of such Improvements, provided that such retailers’ sales tax shall expire ten (10) years from the date it is first collected (expiration date of December 31, 2030), all pursuant to K.S.A. 12-187 et seq. and other applicable state statutory provisions?
First, you must be registered to vote. If you aren’t registered to vote, you can download the Voter Registration Application or register online. The deadline to register to vote in this election is Jan. 7, 2020. However, voters who register after Dec. 30, 2019 need to request a ballot as they won't be mailed one automatically.
The Johnson County Election Office will mail out ballots to all registered voters within Merriam city limits on Jan. 8, 2020. The Election Office must receive all ballots by noon on Jan. 28, 2020 to be counted in the official election results. Ballots can be mailed in the pre-paid envelope provided or dropped off at the Johnson County Election Office, 2101 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS 66061.
December 30, 2019
Last Day to Register to Receive Ballot Automatically
January 7, 2020
Last Day to Register to Vote (Must Request Ballot)
January 28, 2020
Ballots due by 12 p.m.