Thornton-Joe not supporting 50% increase to councillor salaries

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VICTORIA -- Victoria city councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe says she would not support a 50 percent pay increase for future councillors.

This comes after councillor Ben Isitt tabled a motion last month asking city staff to look into the possibility of boosting the salaries of future councillors from $45,384 a year to $70,100 annually. This would represent a more than 50 percent increase in wages, which Isitt says would put them on even terms with the average city worker.

However, councillor Thornton-Joe takes issue with the amount of the proposed increases, saying that the city doesn't have the tax base to afford it.

"It's a big jump," said the sixteen year councillor. "It's great that we have new assessed revenue from the development we've had, but I would like to see some of that assessment to go to reducing taxes."

According to a budget survey put out by the city -- the increases for each councillor would cost the city roughly $205,000 dollars a year -- which Thornton-Joe says would put even more pressure on local taxpayers.

"Staff are telling us that for us to do the things we've asked them to do, it will require more staff," said Thornton-Joe "I'm concerned about the cost to the taxpayer."

A Budget Town Hall meeting will be held on Thursday night at city hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. During the meeting, city officials will accept feedback in person, by telephone or online.

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