Inverness councillors vote to have net pay increased

PORT HOOD: As a result of upcoming federal tax changes, municipal leaders in Inverness County voted to increase their honorariums in an effort to keep their net income from being decreased.

“Revenue Canada is no longer identifying a third of our honorarium as tax free,” said Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie, during the December meeting of council. “We’re going to be taxed on it.”

The official recommendation from the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities, which councillors unanimously voted for, is to “adjust pre-tax compensation to allow municipal councillors the same levels of post-tax compensation after the 2019 federal income tax laws take effect.”

Basically, the municipal leaders will see an increase in their gross pay but their net pay will stay the same.

The specific break down of gross salary is as follows: the warden’s honorarium increases from $48,803.56 to $57,898.10; the deputy warden’s honorarium moves from $37,002.94 to $40,961.70; and councillors’ honorarium get a bump from $32,923.02 to $37,446.34.

“The net would be the same as it is now, but the gross would be a little bit more,” said MacQuarrie.

The additional cost to the municipality for the 2018-19 fiscal year will be $8,744.45. That cost will be greater during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, weighing in at $34,977.80. The increase will take place on January 1, 2019.