Honourable Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
March 9, 2018
I am writing on behalf of our board of directors and school boards across the county in regards to the proposal included in the 2017 Federal Budget, which calls for a change to the Income Tax Act. Specifically, this is regarding:
“The removing of the tax exemptions for non-accountable expense allowances paid to members of provincial and territorial legislative assemblies and to certain municipal office – holders including school boards.”
This proposed legislation concerns us for several reasons.
First, taxing this honorarium is actually going after revenue which comes from taxation in the first place and which was assigned to education.
But more importantly, and of great concern to school boards is that this proposed change will most certainly de-incentivize experienced, quality professionals, the majority of whom have full time employment and already pay taxes on their work income, from running for this valuable public office. The amounts paid to school trustees was always intended to provide a small compensation in recognition for the governance these citizens provide for the education of the children who live in their communities. The hours they spend at evening and weekend meetings is in most cases, above and beyond their full time work and demonstrates a much needed commitment to public service.
Removing this provision would discourage citizens from giving of their own private time to serve the public and their communities. We respectfully request that you reconsider this provision and leave the exemption for school trustees in place.
Canadian School Boards Association