The difference between taxable income and non-taxable expenses has led to some confusion about council pay rates, a situation the mayor of Qualicum Beach took a moment to try to resolve.
Town council passed third reading of a bylaw for whoever wins the next election. The bylaw, which will see the new mayor’s stipend bumped up from $31,300 to $33,300 per year, also drops the pay for the deputy mayor position from $3,700 to $2,000 per year, divided between the four councillors.
The $19,625 per year paid to the four councillors will remain the same, although, like the mayor’s salary, it is slated to rise annually at the rate of the consumer price index.
Mayor Teunis Westbroek noted the councillor stipend may have appeared to some to have risen, but this is not the case.
“The confusion was because we get two thirds of our compensation as taxable and one third non-taxable, so last year the stipend was $13,000, but with expenses it was really $19,000,” he said. “It looked like we are going from $13,000 to 19,000, which is a big increase, but we are already at $19,000.”