Kimberley Mayor “disgusted” with federal decision on elected official pay

Kimberley Mayor “disgusted” with federal decision on elected official pay

Change in federal tax law means no more tax deduction for elected officials; pay will increase 12 per cent to make it up

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick says he is disgusted by the federal government’s decision to eliminate elected officials’ one-third-tax-free allowance, stating that it is unfair to taxpayers.

Currently, elected officials receive an allowance for expenses of one-third of their remuneration on a tax-free basis. This will be eliminated in 2019 due to a change in the federal tax legislation. The full amount of Council remuneration will now be subject to income tax at their personal tax rate.

Council voted on Monday, Dec. 10 to have City staff prepare a bylaw that will see Council receive compensation at an additional 12 per cent in recognition of the tax implications imposed by the elimination of the tax-free allowance.

“This is not a pay increase,” said McCormick. “The federal government has seen fit to claw back this benefit to help pay for, I think, what most would see as outlandish spending. The taxpayer does not get a break in this transaction. The feds are downloading this to the municipality and forcing us to absorb their cut by increasing expenses at the municipal level.”

He adds that this will simply offset the loss in taxable benefit, and that Mayor and Council will “not receive a penny more” than what they are currently receiving.

“Taxpayers should object to the Federal government for what is clearly disrespecting our local government and others throughout the country. I am completely dumbfounded that they’ve gotten away with a free pass on this,” said the Mayor. “…I think the whole thing is disgusting, personally, but this is the right thing to do not just for us but for subsequent elections when we’re trying to encourage people to make that step to run for elected office.”

Councillor Sandra Roberts agreed, saying there are a number of issues as a result of the federal government’s decision.

“I thought it was very interesting to discover that we’re only in the 83 percentile of communities our size. We’re not being payed in the way other communities our size are paying their councillors,” said Roberts. “I agree the idea is to make us whole so that we’re not out of pocket.”

Councillor Kyle Dalum, who voted against the motion, says the decision has him frustrated.

“I’m stuck in a dichotomy where I believe that Council and Mayor are worth the extra 12 per cent that the government is trying to take away, and the other side of me says that I would rather drop the wage down so that they [the federal government] are not making any more off of this community,” he said. “It’s pure frustration on my part.”

Councillor Jason McBain says that the appreciates the transparency among Mayor and Council and agrees with all of the points made in Council chambers with regards to the discussion.

“I think I can live with the 12 per cent to make us whole,” said Councillor Kent Goodwin. “I think we have a hard time arguing that if we only are at the 85th or 86th percentile of community our size; we had 15 people run for Council last year and obviously they feel we’re not in an adequate spot.”

Finally, Councillor Darryl Oakley, who also voted against the motion, says it’s unfair to the taxpayers.

“I really struggled with this, I just can’t stick it to the taxpayers like that,” he said. “Even though the feds are downloading this, it goes through us and through City Hall and right to the taxpayers. It’s a tiny, tiny amount, but it bugs me that this is how it unfolds.

“Even though I have to put gas in my truck like everybody else, the taxpayers are always taking the hit. It’s just one thing after another, and I don’t want this to be just one more thing that they have to get hit with. I don’t support this.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

Centre 64 in Kimberley. Bulletin file
Kimberley’s Centre 64 receives grant for building improvements

The Kimberley Arts Council/Centre 64 has just received notice that their grant… Continue reading

Teck sends impacted ground water from the former Sullivan Mine operations to the Drainage Water Treatment Plant on the St. Mary River. Photo courtesy Teck.
Teck will hold further information sessions on ground water issues in Kimberley

Ryan Peterson from Teck made a presentation on ground water issues to… Continue reading

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Volunteer firefighters from Grand Forks Fire/Rescue head towards the scene of fatal car crash near Gibbs Creek Road, below Highway 3, Thursday evening, Jan. 21. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Motorist dies in Highway 3 crash west of Grand Forks

City first responders were called to the scene Thursday evening, Jan. 21

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read