BROCKTON – It’s been 11 years since the last increase in the municipal mileage allowance. A proposal came before council at the Aug. 29 meeting to adjust the rate from the current 50 cents per kilometre, to the Canada Revenue Agency recommended rate of 68 cents.

As stated in the report presented to council, “Since 2012, the municipality has been reimbursing staff, council and volunteer firefighters for their mileage at the set rate of 50 cents per kilometre.” The last time the matter of a mileage allowance increase came before council – in 2020 – council voted against it.

Trish Serratore, chief financial officer, told council there’s a lot of concern from staff who “feel like they’re being punished for having to use their own vehicle” for municipal business, especially with the present cost of fuel being so high.

Clerk Fiona Hamilton said tying the municipal mileage reimbursement rate to the CRA rate has the benefit of “removing ambiguity” by using a rate set by an objective third party.

Coun. Carl Kuhnke pointed out the change would eliminate the need for calculating mileage as a taxable benefit, noting that using any rate for mileage other than that set by the CRA is considered a taxable benefit to employees.

The report presented to council noted that due to various deductions, using a rate lower than the CRA rate resulted in a minor savings to the municipality, but cost the employees themselves an additional amount in taxes. This isn’t taking into consideration wear and tear on the vehicle, and the cost of fuel.

Also noted in the report was the fact there aren’t enough municipal vehicles to use for municipal matters, meaning certain staff must use their own vehicles.

The county and neighbouring municipalities all follow the CRA annual reimbursement rate.

Coun. Tim Elphick commented that locally, a reimbursement rate of 60 cents per kilometre is considered “reasonable,” but when the matter was put to the vote, council was in favour of using the 68 cents set by CRA.

By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 08, 2023 at 07:05

This item reprinted with permission from   The Herald-Times   Walkerton, Ontario
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