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$1M 'clerical error' gives Merriam residents break in 2024 property taxes

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Nov 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-22 11:03:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Merriam officials are notifying residents of an error made this year that will reduce their property taxes next year.

But don’t get used to it.

City officials say they made a clerical mistake when they submitted their city budget to Johnson County and the state of Kansas. Instead of submitting a budget that reduced the mill levy rate - the rate used to set property taxes - by .25 mills, the submitted budget reduced the rate by 4.48 mills.

With an average home value of $281,000 in Merriam, the error means homeowners will pay roughly $145 less in property taxes next year.

“You’re going to pay less city property tax in 2024 than originally anticipated,” the city wrote on a website dedicated to answering questions about the error. “While City Council did vote to decrease the mill levy rate in 2024, this clerical error decreased it much more than anticipated.”

The error left a $1 million hole in the city’s budget. City official say they’ll use a combination of cash reserves, deferred capital purchases and savings from the 2023 budget to help balance next year’s budget.

The city also anticipates they’ll need to raise back the mill levy rate for 2025, though they don’t yet know by how much.