Salaries and car allowances paid to members of Edmonton city council should be fully taxable, according to a report from the Independent Council Compensation Committee released Thursday.
Currently, one-third of council compensation is tax-exempt. To keep take home pay the same after taxes, the committee suggests that the city pick up the difference at a cost of $286,000.
Committee vice-chair Dan McKinley says the recommended change will allow Edmontonians to know exactly how much their councillors make.
"It sounds like a huge, huge benefit whereas in reality, it's not a particular huge amount per councillor," he said.
The committee also recommends giving councillors a 2 1/2 per cent raise to bring their salaries in line with the mayor's.
"This is important to reflect the responsibilities, the decisions, and the time commitments of councillors which are not that far different from that of the mayor," McKinley said. The report puts the fully taxable pay equivalents for the mayor and councillors as of October 2013 at $109,805 and $107,127 respectively.. Councillor pay would go up to $109,805 if council approves the recommended 2 1/2 per cent pay increase.
Council will review and vote on the report at next Wednesday's council meeting.