Haliburton County’s councillors are getting a pay increase as a way to handle the removal of a tax exemption.

In 2017 the federal government announced, in its budget, the elimination of the ‘one-third tax exemption’ effective January 2019. In 2018, a report was brought to the county council detailing what the impact of that would be, as well as options to circumvent the added taxation.

According to a report, the councillors decided to go with the option that resulted in their pay going up. Although the councillors are being paid more, the take-home pay is the exact same as it was before the tax exemption was eliminated.

With the pay increase, the County Warden is slated to make $1,628.05 per diem and an additional $80 to $135 for committee meetings. The Deputy Warden is now getting paid $813.91 per diem and like the warden will make $80 to $135 for committee meetings. Councillors at the county level now make $695 per diem.

At the meeting of the council to vote on this pay bump, Carol Moffatt the Mayor of Algonquin Highlands noted that councillors are not getting paid almost $700 just to go to meetings. She went on to explain that as councillors there is work being done beyond the council meetings.

The County’s Treasurer Elaine Taylor estimates the uptick in pay will cost $6,950.18 annually.