Council members are asking for a considerable raise from city tax payers. (Screenshot/ Victoria.ca)

Victoria councillors ask taxpayers for opinions on 55 per cent wage increase

Council seeks feedback on the request in an online budget survey

Victoria city councillors are asking the public for input on a proposed wage increase that would nearly double their annual earnings.

In an online survey looking for feedback on the proposed 2020 budget, the city asks for an increase in councillor salaries by approximately $25,700 annually to bring the total up to $70,100.

“We’ve decided to ask the public what they think about adjusting the compensation to the level of the median income of a city employee, excluding police and firefighters,” said Coun. Ben Isitt. “The city hasn’t reviewed the remuneration for councillors in more than a decade.”

ALSO READ: Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

On average, city councillors make $43,000 plus benefits, and are expected to work a three-quarter time position. Isitt reports he spends an average of 40 to 50 hours per week doing city work.

“It’s impossible to have other ordinary outside employment,” he said. “We have daytime meetings, emails, participate in local events, and deal with communications arising.”

In total the increase is asking for $205,600 on the 2020 budget budget, funding which Isitt said would come from $3 million in newly-assessed revenues that come from recent developments and newly-assessed values of local properties.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria looks for feedback on proposed 2020 budget

“New condos and new apartments means new residents, and that means more emails,” Isitt said. “I think it’s an appropriate funding source, as the workload of council is going to go up as the population increases.”

People can provide feedback on the proposition, and on other 2020 budget ideas by taking the online survey, which is available until Nov. 24. The survey and other budget information are available at victoria.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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