On Monday, Burnaby’s mayor and councillors will vote on whether to give themselves a raise.
City staff have recommended a raise of $8,900 for each councillor and $37,075 for Mayor Mike Hurley.
But the proposal won’t necessarily mean the politicians will take home more cash.
The increase is meant to 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.”
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.