An independent panel is recommending Burnaby council members give themselves a raise.
The three-person council indemnity advisory committee was created to review a staff report that recommended raises for the city’s mayor and eight councillors.
City staff recommended a raise of $8,900 for each councillor and $37,075 for Mayor Mike Hurley. They estimate the salary increases would cost the city an extra $110,000 a year.
But the proposed changes wouldn’t necessarily mean the politicians will take home more cash.
The increases would offset the elimination of a tax break for local politicians. Before Jan. 1, 2019 mayors and councillors didn’t have to pay federal income tax on one-third of their income.
Now they have to pay taxes on every dollar they make, resulting in a net loss in income.
“The increase would result in approximately the same net pay for all members of council as though the tax exemption for the non-accountable allowance was still applicable,” city staff wrote in a report. “The increase was calculated using 2018 income tax rates and Canada Pension Plan contribution rates, assuming that members of council had no other sources of income.”
The review panel held three meetings in March and April and ultimately agreed with city staff’s recommendations.
Burnaby council will vote on the proposed raises at a future meeting.
In 2017, then-Mayor Derek Corrigan made $132,576 before taxes, plus a $16,691 transportation allowance and $17,945 in benefits. That same year, councillors were paid $60,000 plus a $4,320 transportation allowance.
According to Burnaby city staff, most municipalities across the country have already approved pay increases for mayors and councillors to offset the tax change.