Members of Regina’s executive committee heard a report on Wednesday that recommends an increase to their own salaries in order to maintain their net pay once federal tax changes take effect next year.
The executive committee is made up of the mayor and all 10 city councillors.
Starting in 2019, federal law will no longer exempt a third of council compensation from taxes.
The change in exemptions will cost the mayor about $16,000 in net pay. Councillors will lose $3,600 to $4,200 on their take-home pay.
Mayor Michael Fougere said the changes on the federal side were sprung on them without any sort of consultation.
“I think it’s fair for anyone who’s on council across the country to maintain their salary, I think it is a legitimate issue,” Fougere said. “Not to raise your salary but to maintain your salary.”
The report recommends a change in how salaries are calculated.
The mayor’s salary would rise from 77.3 per cent to 99.78 per cent of a provincial cabinet minister’s — increasing from about $112,000 to $144,000.
Councillors salaries would increase from $37,000 to $44,000 — their salaries are based on what the Mayor is getting paid.
While there is a salary increase, all members of council will still take home the same amount of pay as they did before.
The estimated impact of these changes on the city’s operating budget is $108,000.
“Where we find that money is part of the budget process, I can’t say where it’s going to come from but it’s coming from the budget process,” Fougere said.
Along with the pay changes, it was also recommended a third-party perform a salary review for members of council. It’s been 16 years since a review of salaries was done.
Fougere voted against that recommendation, indicating everyone came in as councillors knowing what their salary would be.
“This is more of a calling than a career and I think we know that going in.”
Both recommendations were passed by executive committee. Both will be up for debate at the Nov. 26 city council meeting and will require final approval.