The mayor of Campbell River – whoever that ends up being – will be receiving a pay bump as of January of next year.
At this week’s meeting of city council, the city heard from Doug Lang, chair of the city’s independent Council Remuneration Task Force, recommending what the next sitting council will be paid.
Lang outlined how the task force went about its work, which started with comparing Campbell River’s mayor and council’s financial compensation with those of other similar-sized communities around the province.
It all starts with what the mayor makes, Lang says, because councilor remuneration is generally calculated using a fixed percentage of that amount. Campbell River councillors are currently paid 37 per cent of what the mayor makes, for example.
“We noticed as we went through and reviewed the mayor’s remuneration that we were really out of step with where we thought we should be by about $1,000 a year,” Lang says. “So that became part of the recommendation.”
The thing that makes the increase jump look so significant, however, is that mayor and councillors’ pay used to be one-third non-taxable. But that is going away as of January, meaning remuneration will now be fully taxed by the federal government, so governments around the province are increasing the pay for their mayors and councillors to reflect that fact.
“The large disproportion of communities are actually looking at that and realigning the compensation to account for the loss of the one-third non-taxable allowance,” Lang says. “That added to the mayor’s salary, I believe, about $7,000.”
After all the calculations were done, the mayor’s remuneration was proposed by the task force to increase from $64,452 to $73,611 – an increase of $9,159 or just over 14 per cent – though the majority of that will be taxed and collected by the federal government. The task force also recommended that councillor remuneration increase from 37 to 38 per cent of the mayor’s pay, aligning with the standard in the comparable communities.
Council accepted the task force recommendations, to be implemented on the first pay period of 2019.