School District 69 (Qualicum) trustees voted to increase their pay by $1,000 during a Nov. 27 board meeting as a means of offsetting a federal income tax increase.
In a memo sent to trustees, SD69’s secretary treasurer Ron Amos explained the federal tax change.
“The current income tax treatment is that one-third of trustee remuneration is not taxable because it is considered an expense allowance.”
Specifically, it’s considered a non-accountable expense allowance, according to Canada Revenue Agency information. In other words, it’s meant to pay for work-related expenses that you don’t have to justify with receipts and/or other details.
SD69 trustees can have other, larger expenses covered (for workshops, travel outside of the district, etc.) on top of what they are paid.
For example, for last school year, SD69’s five trustees were paid a total of $74,131.01 and had $7,675.62 worth of expenses.
The tax change applies to their pay only. Up to 2019, a third of their pay was tax-free because it was considered a non-accountable expense allowance.
As of 2019, trustees will have to pay income tax on all of their pay.
“Other school district jurisdictions recognizing the tax consequences to the net paid remuneration have increased remuneration to offset the increase tax amount,” said Amos in his memo to trustees.
To offset SD69 trustee pay, the increase cost is approximately $1,000 per trustee, he said.
The raise is effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Last year, trustees were paid between $13,987 and $15,155 (those acting as chair or vice-chair see an increase to their pay).