Merriam revenues get a boost in 2017 budget with end of Merriam Town Center TIF; total property value up nearly 15%

The Merriam Town Center, completed under a TIF agreement, is now home to a number of national retailers.
The Merriam Town Center, completed under a TIF agreement, is now home to a number of national retailers. It came back on the tax rolls this year and gives Merriam’s total property value a boost.

Merriam’s 2017 budget will get a boost from the expiration of the Merriam Town Center Tax Increment Financing (TIF) which expired after 20 years.

Consequently, Merriam will see a 14.9 percent increase in property valuation on which to base the 2017 budget. Without getting the money that had been diverted to pay for the Town Center TIF, the city would have seen a 3.19 percent increase in property values. Some money from the expiring TIF was available in 2016.

The city plans to keep the tax rate constant at 27.676 mills for the coming year. The budget anticipates total revenue of $25.5 million with $12.3 million coming from sales tax and only $4 million from property tax. Merriam has the highest percentages of sales tax support for its city budget of any of the cities in NEJC.

The city estimates that it will spend $11.8 million on capital improvement projects in 2017, nearly a 24 percent increase over the 2016 estimates. The CIP fund is still showing an expected ending fund balance of more than $17 million at the end of 2017.

The general fund also shows a healthy balance of nearly $5 million at the end of 2017 even though that balance drops a bit from the $5.5 million at the start of the year. Total general fund spending $13.4 million with another $5.1 million transferred out to other funds, such as capital improvement.

Merriam has one of the largest concentrations of commercial and retail property for a city its size in the state, including a number of car dealerships.