The Johnson County Education and Research Triangle is a visionary community and academic partnership that will define the region as a innovator of research, science and technology. The idea, modeled after a North Carolina collaboration, was proposed in 2007 by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Johnson County Education Research Triangle Advisory Council. In November 2008, voters approved a 1/8-cent sales tax without an expiration date, and it was assessed in April 2009.
The tax is estimated to bring in about $5 million annually for each of the three university-backed entities and will have an economic benefit of more than $1 billion over the next two decades, according the County Economic Research Institute. All revenues collected by the tax can be used only at the universities' Johnson County locations.
The Johnson County Education Research Triangle Authority oversees the funds. The JCERT Authority board conducts audits, yearly reports and is responsible for ensuring that the use of public funds complies with state and local law. The board is comprised of seven elected officials from Johnson County appointed to four-year terms, and each may serve two terms. Board meetings and records are subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act and the Kansas Open Records Act.