Increasing Their Own Pensions
In a move that received little coverage at the time, City Council voted to modify the way they were paid. They approved a move that would see the one-third tax free component incorporated into their base salaries, thereby increasing their salaries from around $72,000 to over $90,000. This change added nearly half a million dollars to the tax levy. It also meant that pension calculations would be based on a higher annual salary, thereby increasing the value of Councillor’s annual pensions, should they serve long enough, as most have, to qualify for one.
Change to how city councillors get paid will cost taxpayers $434K
Move will mean they make the same amount of money, but earn larger pensions
Samantha Craggs · CBC News · Posted: Aug 10, 2015
It caused a lot of debate, and five people voted against it, but Hamilton city councillors are changing how they get paid. Right now, city councillors earn a salary, but one-third of it is tax free. The general issues committee voted on Monday to scrap the tax exemption and boost their salaries by roughly one-third. That means councillors will earn $90,385 per year, up from $72,640.80, but will pay full taxes.
Hamilton council votes to end tax-free salary status
By The Hamilton Spectator
Tue., Aug. 11, 2015
Hamilton councillors will end a tax-free salary perk in the name of transparency — and boost their pensions at the same time. Councillors voted 8-5 at general issues committee Monday to increase their salaries, but make the entire amount taxable. Currently, one-third of each councillor’s salary is tax-free.
The change will add $434,000 to the annual tax levy, but won’t put any more cash in councillor pockets — at least while they’re working — because the difference in boosted salary goes to the tax man.