Directors with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) will be seeing an increased remuneration due to the Federal Government’s one-third tax exemption.
In a divided vote, the Board agreed Friday that based on the average income in B.C., the CRD’s Director remuneration be increased by $0.47 per $100,000 (residential tax rate) starting in 2019 to make elected officials ‘whole’ in respect to after-tax income.
Area G Director Al Richmond with Directors Ted Armstrong and Brian Coakley voted against the motion.
“If we’re opposed to that, we should be telling the Federal Government and get that changed and reinstitute that exemption,” he said.
“The second part is I think that to vote this is voting yourself a pay increase. I think if you want a pay increase, you should say you want a pay increase and not hide behind the one-third exemption.”
“I just don’t think that because there is a shift in policy that results in a download perceived to the Regional District that we should further download those increases to our taxpayers.”
Also not in support of the motion were Mayors Bob Simpon, Walt Cobb, and Mitch Campsall.
“A job’s a job. You applied for it, you were elected, you were acclaimed; you know the rules and the rules change-tough,” Coakley said.
“You should pay your taxes.”
Assisting in bringing the recommendation forward to the Board with Directors Ted Armstrong, Jerry Bruce, and Dylan Cash was Area F Director Joan Sorley who with the chief financial officer (CFO) Scott Reid made up a Director’s Remuneration Committee.
“The reason we went there as I remember is that it’s tough enough to get people to run to do this job, and as those acclaimed know,” Sorley explained.
“We are already limited for people in this job to only those that can afford to can serve. To make it even less pay than it already is just going to create barriers to that many more people. For me it’s making us whole, and yes it sucks and it’s the federal government that’s forced us into this, but it is making us whole based on that.”
Very few governments according to the CRD’s CFO have not decided to increase Director remuneration to offset increased taxes.
Reid says of those who have reported remuneration increases to offset the personal tax increases, the increases range from 7% to 18%.
The Federal Government introduced the exemption measures as part of its 2017 budget, effective January 1st, 2019.
It said that tax exemption for non-accountable expense allowances paid to members of provincial and territorial legislative assemblies and to certain municipal office holders provides an advantage that other Canadians do not enjoy.