Central Okanagan regional district directors get pay increase to cover loss of tax benefit - InfoNews

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Central Okanagan regional district directors get pay increase to cover loss of tax benefit

The Central Okanagan Regional District Board of Directors is pictured in this December 2015 file photo.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 25, 2018 - 3:00 PM

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Central Okanagan regional district directors will get a pay increase in 2019 – mostly to offset the loss of tax-free status.

The current board members get one-third of their salary tax-free. The federal government ruled that practice must end as of Jan. 1, 2019.

Monday night, Sept. 24, the board formally approved a 14.25 per cent increase, which includes money to offset the tax change plus an estimated two per cent increase in the Consumer Price Index. Kelowna city councillors who sit on the board got to vote twice on a pay increase, once at city council and again last night.

The chair (currently Kelowna Coun. Gail Given) will get an increase of almost $6,000 in 2019 to $47,671.

Municipal directors (of which there are 11, including the existing chair) get a $2,300 bump to $18,541 while those serving from outside municipalities (Central Okanagan East and West) get an extra $2,891 so they will be paid $23,176 per year.

Kelowna city councillors, who hold seats on the board, will also get paid just over $36,500 from the City in 2019. Kelowna has seven of the 13 seats on the board.

In making the changes, staff rewrote the regional district’s remuneration bylaw to include payment for meeting attendance but did not have enough time to review the need for any changes there.

Currently, directors are paid $130 for attending meetings that run for more than four hours or $65 for shorter meetings. They get an additional $25 if they chair a committee. Those rates have not changed for 10 years.

“The review will be in the next term,” Given said. “This close to an election you don’t want to be changing your entire remuneration bylaw, not knowing who it will impact.”

While the attendance rates have yet to be reviewed, staff included pay rates for other regional districts in B.C. They ranged from $92 to $400 per meeting, although some are tied to wages.

Here is a list of the meeting pay rates in other regional districts in B.C.:

  • Bulkley-Nechako $210
  • Capital $100
  • Cariboo $185
  • Central Coast $400
  • Columbia Shuswap $200
  • Comox $125
  • East Kootenay $185
  • Fraser-Fort George $100
  • Fraser Valley $% of wage
  • Metro Vancouver 0.5% to .10% of annual salary
  • North Okanagan $153
  • Okanagan-Similkameen $152
  • Peace River  $112
  • Strathcona $125-$200
  • Sunshine Coast $125
  • Squamish-Lillooet $92-$150
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2018
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