Delta council salaries jump to offset loss of tax-free status

Delta Mayor George Harvie has received a $35,000 bump in pay while each Delta councillor will get $12,000 more per year following a unanimous vote by civic politicians recently.

The mayor’s salary will jump to $154,264 while the rate for councillors will be $62,788. The increases are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019.

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Mayor and council have not received an increase to their remuneration since January 2016 when the mayor’s salary was set at $118,874 and council members’ salaries were set at $50,470.

According to a Delta staff report, the significant jump in remuneration is primarily to help offset the loss of the tax-free portion of politicians’ salaries resulting from a change in federal income tax legislation.

“Prior to 2019, one-third of remuneration received by elected officials was received as a tax-free allowance for income tax purposes,” said director of human resources Samantha Pillay. “Beginning in 2019, the federal income tax legislation changed and the result was all remuneration received by elected officials is subject to personal income tax. The impact of this change was that mayor and council now receive less net pay than previously elected municipal officials.”

The increases also address the fact civic politicians haven’t received a raise in almost four years.

Delta council sets remuneration rates based on a comparison of four Metro Vancouver municipalities: Coquitlam, Richmond, Township of Langley and the District of North Vancouver. Pillay’s report notes all four of these comparable municipalities have approved adjustments in order to maintain net pay.

Ten other Metro Vancouver municipalities, as well as the Delta school board, have also approved a remuneration adjustment.

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