Today's date: Friday April 20, 2018
column width padding column width padding
The Wellington Advertiser Masthead Logo

We Cover The County...
40,251 Audited Circulation

WEEKLY POLL   |   Community News   |   EQUINE   |   Schools & Buses

Facebook Slug
WA 50th Banner
column width padding column width padding

Split Decision

by Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik

Tax-free income for municipal councillors

Income luxury

The federal budget, which was announced last week, will be taking away a tax exemption probably few of us know about.

By 2019, municipal councillors will no longer have tax-free income for one-third of their salary.

This tax exemption was first enacted back in 1990 to offset expenses incurred during a councillor’s duties.

But as we see with the 2016 remuneration reports now out from most, if not all, Wellington County municipalities, councillors are already being compensated for expenses incurred during their faithful public service.

So why are councillors even provided this tax break anymore?

There is no doubt councillors earn the money they are being paid, but the tax break no longer fits with how they should be  compensated.

However, Warden Denis Lever suggested ending the tax exemption would cost local taxpayers more because salaries would have to increase so councillors can take home the same net earnings without it.

The idea of an increase is preposterous. Not every worker has the same luxury as councillors - to choose their income when the government implements a new tax.  

Councillors shouldn’t look at this as lost income; it should be viewed as a tax break they were afforded that is coming to an end.

They should have to live with it, just like the rest of Canadians do come tax time.

– Olivia


Municipal burden

The Liberal government’s second budget is doing away with income tax exemptions for 33% of municipal councillors’ salaries.

This exemption is provided under the guise of covering costs incurred while performing municipal duties, yet councillors are also paid expenses.

Regardless of the whys and hows, this was steady funding the federal government provided municipalities. What will happen in 2019 if it’s actually taken away?

Let’s step back to the late 1990s when the province axed the farm tax rebate.

Prior to 1998, Ontario farmers paid their municipality 100% of their property taxes and the province gave them a 75% rebate. Fast forward to post-1998 and farmers now pay just 25% of their assessed property tax to their municipalities and the province has no involvement.

It looks like the government is messing with municipalities once again, this time at a federal level.

Come 2019, Warden Dennis Lever says local councillors will likely expect no reduction in take-home salaries. But wait. Without the 33% tax exemption, municipal taxpayers will be left with the responsibility, once again, to pick up the pieces after a higher level of government pulls the rip cord.

Don’t be fooled. We may be “saving” in federal taxes but small municipalities are going to be hit hard trying to once again compensate for a government contribution that was taken away.   

– Jaime

Vol 50 Issue 13


Tell Us What You Think

Login to submit a comment

Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser. Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive, unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. You must register or log in in order to post a comment. For more information, read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines.




Wellington County


Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Bruce Whitestone
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Stephen Thorning
Stephen Thorning

Recent Columns

Bits and Pieces

  • Signature bonnet
  • Digital pantomime
  • Connect the dots
  • Generation gap
  • Little things
  • Tylenol kick
  • This Little Piggy
  • Nature's best
  • Canada's Business

  • The decline of civility
  • Irrational exuberance II
  • Speak up
  • An enduring register
  • A government assessment after one year in office
  • Gauge signals
  • Unpatriotic
  • Inevitable
  • Comment from Ottawa

  • The Syria question
  • Reflecting on 2016
  • Open, transparent combat mission?
  • Bad for businesses
  • Have your voice heard on electoral reform
  • Open and transparent?
  • Assisted dying
  • Leadership bid
  • Life-wise

  • Retirement
  • Canadas scarcity of calamity
  • Often we mirror our parents
  • Putting up with put-downs
  • A tale of two landlords
  • A letter from the campsite
  • Two shades of black
  • Precious memories
  • Queen's Park Report

  • Back to work
  • Merry Christmas
  • Remembering them
  • High-cost hydro
  • Six important issues
  • Emancipation Day
  • Great Lakes
  • Happy Canada Day
  • Special to the Advertiser

  • Death of JFK changed the world
  • Split Decision

  • Minimum wage earner tax cut
  • Storytelling methods
  • $6.7 million provincial deficit
  • Government funded childcare
  • Lower the voting age to 16
  • Receiving Belgian royals
  • PC Party leadership vote
  • Judged sports in the Olympics
  • Staying Connected

  • It’s all about staying connected.
  • Stray Casts

  • Final lines: Its been great
  • Thorning Revisited

  • Village of Elora bought its first fire engine in 1859
  • Wellington County blood donor clinics began in 1950
  • 1881 books provide unique glimpse of local agriculture
  • Coroner’s jury blamed long working hours for 1906 wreck
  • A backward glance at Elora’s Metcalfe Street
  • Community news from the Mapleton Township area
  • Dr. McQuibban a remarkable figure in Wellington
  • Arthur loaned $8,000 to start shoe factory in 1918
  • Valuing Our History

  • Hustonville founded, thrived, vanished in 20 years
  • Lack of railway siding frustrated Fergus’ James Gow
  • Fergus mill made oat flour for Cheerios, other brands
  • Railway passenger service waxed and waned over the 1900s
  • Tanner’s woolen mill in Mount Forest burned twice in a year
  • Elora principal George Edgcumbe ended his career in disgrace
  • Peter Perry a memorable principal of Fergus High School
  • Fire gutted Fergus building owned by Robert Kerr in 1931
  • WriteOut of Her Mind

  • Ice storm
  • Write on
  • Popcorn
  • Funny bunny
  • Big city
  • Parenting 101
  • Across the pond
  • Hope
  • column width padding column width padding column width padding

    The Wellington Advertiser





    Digital Publications


    Twitter Logo

    Free Press News Network Logo