Initial raise spurred by income tax change
A citizen-led task force in Spruce Grove is recommending changes to the compensation for Spruce Grove council.
A report presented at Tuesday's meeting recommends increasing mayor and councillor salaries by 10%, retroactive to January 1.
That's because the federal government recently eliminated a prior provision that allowed elected officials to claim one third of their salary tax-free.
A 10% bump would mean council would get paid the same amount, after taxes.
The mayor's base salary is currently $95,463 dollars, while the part-time councillors make $42,519.
The 10% raise would increase those to $105,009 and $46,771, respectively.
Another change being proposed for immediate implementation is parental leave benefits for councillors, of up to 26 weeks.
The first 10 weeks would be fully paid, with the remaining ones paid at a partial rate, dependent on the amount of work done in that time.
Meanwhile, the report states a desire to have a ratio where councillors are paid exactly 50% of the mayor's salary.
Projections for 2021 show that the respective base salaries would be $113,885 and $50,723, where the councillor salary represents 45% of the mayor's remuneration.
An increase up to 50% would then bring councillor salaries up to just under $57,000.
The report proposes to increase the mayor's base salary at a rate of two times the city's annual market rate adjustment, with the councillor's ratio maintained along with it.
Other proposed changes include:
- eliminating honourariums for time serving on internal board and committee meetings
- maintain benefits program for council, which includes extended health and dental benefits, life insurance, and RRSP and/or TFSA contribution deductions
- Monthly car allowances ($100/mayor, $50/councillor) increase to $120 and $60 respectively, for the next term in 2021
The report will be officially debated at a regular council meeting in the near future.