Esquimalt council will look to an independent third party to review their remuneration ahead of the 2018 civic election, after the federal government announced changes to the tax policy for elected municipal officials. Photo courtesy of Esquimalt Township

Third party review to assess Esquimalt council’s remuneration

Tax break eliminated by federal government shifts cost to municipality, says councillor

Esquimalt council will look to an independent third party consultant in January to review whether a realignment is necessary for their salaries.

The question of remuneration is on the table in response to a decision made by the federal government last March to end a tax exemption for municipal elected officials. Since 1947, under the federal Income Tax Act, one-third of an official’s income was collected tax-free, a nod to expenses related to the duties of the position.

According to the 2016 Statement of Financial Information from the Township of Esquimalt, Mayor Barb Desjardins’ remuneration was $48,225.20. Each of the six councillors collected $20,779.60 for their service.

At the Dec. 11 council meeting, Coun. Susan Low – who will not be running in next October’s municipal election – voiced support for the review.

“This is downloading tax burden onto the local government level,” Low said, stressing she doesn’t want the federal government to think it can do so without anyone taking notice.

To maintain the mayor and councillors’ current remuneration, council will consider raises to offset losses now that the entire salary from the Township is taxable.

Coun. Olga Liberchuk also supported the motion, saying people need to be compensated appropriately for the work they do.

“We just to make sure … that we ensure we attract candidates from all walks of life with various incomes, and that it’s not just reserved for people who are privileged enough to be able to afford a low wage at the council table,” she said.

In Langley, a similar review was conducted before council voted unanimously to increase the mayor’s remuneration by 11 per cent in 2019, while councillors will receive a salary that is 45 per cent of the mayor’s.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Unique gift alert: adopt a grizzly bear for Christmas

Nature Conservancy Canada is hosting its 25th annual Gifts of Nature campaign

Saanich vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Victoria restaurant gets one-year extension after facing renoviction

Pluto’s Restaurant set to stay at its Cook Street location until March 2021

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Most Read