Seven things to know as mayors, councillors start cashing their new cheques | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Seven things to know as mayors, councillors start cashing their new cheques

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November 14, 2018 - 8:00 PM

Local politicians head to their council tables in earnest after the Oct. 20 election and are starting to get their first paycheques of their new term.

The way they are being paid will change Jan. 1 as new federal tax rules take away the tax-free status they enjoyed on one third of their incomes. But the amount they are being paid, in most cases, has been adjusted upwards to make sure no one earns less.

Here's seven things you might not have known about local politicians and how they are paid:

1. As would be expected, the pay rate for mayor is higher for those in the bigger cities.

Kelowna: $107,525
Kamloops: $95,123
Vernon: $88,255
Penticton: $64,208
West Kelowna: $65,848

2. The Mayor’s salary is only part of the compensation paid since mayors also sit on their respective regional district boards. That adds between $6,220 (Penticton) to $18,541 (Kelowna) to the mayor’s compensation. So, their base salary really is:

Kelowna: $126,066
Kamloops: $108,151
Vernon: $96,313
Penticton: $70,428
West Kelowna: $84,389

3. Mayors typically get additional perks with leases on cars, health benefits, per diems when out of town at meetings, etc. There are a myriad of different rules and policies depending on the municipality and often aren’t spelled out entirely. What is easier to find, are the actual expenses charged by mayors in 2017, but it’s unclear if these expenses include other entitlements like vehicles.

Kelowna: $12,896
Kamloops: $1,150
Vernon: $4,150
Penticton: $5,720
West Kelowna: $6,707
* The expenses listed for the Kamloops mayor for 2017 may not be indicative as that position was vacated for a time then filled after a byelection. 

4. While each member on council casts one vote, councillors are not compensated nearly as well as mayors. Here’s how their remuneration breaks down.

Kelowna: $36,543
Kamloops: $36,227
Vernon: $32,654
Penticton: $23,000
West Kelowna: $22,350

5. Municipal councillors who sit on regional district boards get paid a base rate of:

Central Okanagan: $18,541
Thompson-Nicola: $13,028
North Okanagan: $8,058
Okanagan-Similkameen: $6,220

If they happen to chair those boards, as is the case with Kelowna Coun. Gail Given who chairs the Central Okanagan board, she gets an extra $47,671 on top of her city council salary ($36,227) for an annual total of $83,898.

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton is chair of the North Okanagan Regional District so he gets $27,795 in addition to his mayor’s salary. In the other regional districts, the chairs both come from the electoral (rural) areas.

6. Electoral area directors are paid more than those from incorporated towns and cities, with rates varying between and within regional districts.

Central Okanagan: $23,176-$28,735
Thomson-Nicola: $21,031-$24,391
North Okanagan: $10,016
Okanagan-Similkameen: $21,514

7. Regional districts all provide for per-meeting payments, ranging from $130 (Central Okanagan for four hours or more) up to $232.44 (Okanagan-Similkameen). This is not for regular board meetings.

Any questions? Maybe we can help. Hit us up through our Facebook page or by email with questions about local government or politicians and we'll do our best to find out for you.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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