Holding a seat around the District of Muskoka council table just got more valuable. The district voted at its last council meeting to raise the pay for its councillors by $1,000 every year. Councillors receive $16,750 yearly in remuneration now, which will be increased to $20,750 by the end of their four-year term. The District Chair position will be increased by $3,000, going from $67,350 to  $86,550 by the fourth year. The chair’s auto allowance is also changing to mileage. All tolled, council will cost taxpayers around $2 million for the four-year term.

These changes won’t come into effect until after this year’s municipal election in October.

By comparison, the average yearly earnings for an upper-tier councillor is $26,151, and $86,481 for the chair. District staff says remuneration aims to reflect the responsibility and accountability of the position, as well as attract qualified candidates.

There are 23 council seats, including the chair, and its made up of the mayors along with two to three councillors from each municipality.