For the first time in five years Trail city councillors will be giving themselves a raise.
Council approved an annual indemnity bylaw recently that will see them make 2.3 per cent more as of Jan. 1.
The mayor’s seat will now receive $27,473 per year, up from $26,855. Each of the city’s six councillors will receive $13,737 per year in 2013, up from the $13,428 they are receiving this year.
Councillor Gord DeRosa said Trail had fallen “dramatically” behind in what they were receiving as an indemnity for their work, after taking no or only cost of living increases prior to 2008.
“That hurt us all to do,” he said. “There was a lot of arguing for keeping it less than everybody else.”
Council had hired an independent committee to research what the Silver City seven made in relation to other elected municipal bodies across the province. The recommendation that came back was to hike council salaries.
The money is paid out of the annual revenue of the city.
One third of the indemnity paid is an allowance for expenses “incidental to the discharge of the duties of office.” City corporate administrator Michelle MacIsaac said one third of council’s wage was not taxable to reward them for the expenses they incur.
In 2009 council approved an annual indemnity bylaw that reflected a three per cent raise at the time.
By comparison, Quesnel—a B.C. Interior city with a population of around 10,000—pays their mayor $40,236 annually and their councillors $13,800 per annum.