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Budget Axes Council Tax-Free Allowance

by Patrick Raftis.

Last week’s federal budget will remove a long-standing tax exemption on one-third of the salaries for municipal councillors.

Since 1990, the Municipal Act has provided that one-third of the salary paid to an elected member of council was deemed to be for “expenses incurred in the discharge of the member’s duties,” and not subject to income tax.

The act also states the bylaw confirming council’s intention to accept the tax break must be reviewed at a public meeting at least once during each four-year term of council.

The change will not impact current councils, as it comes into effect in 2019 and a municipal election is scheduled for 2018.

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