Note to Doug Ford: it costs a lot to govern Waterloo Region

•Local taxpayers will spend $2.2 million next year on salaries for 41 politicians who jointly govern Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo. These are fully taxable salaries, made transparent after the federal government eliminated a tax exemption for municipal politicians.

•London and Hamilton taxpayers will spend 29 to 51 per cent less for their politicians, benchmarking costs by population, taxation, revenue or spending. Guelph residents will spend slightly more than this region by some benchmarks.

•Compared to Hamilton, local taxpayers will spend $560,000 more for 25 more politicians to govern three cities that are slightly smaller in population.

•Compared to London, local taxpayers will spend $1.3 million more for 26 more politicians to govern three cities that are larger by one-third.

This could make you go 'hmm' if you were a premier bent on reducing politicians and their salaries.

"In terms of the cost of governance, the goal is to work together with municipal governments to give the people what they want," Clark spokesperson Michael Jiggins said.

"And that is local governments that are working as effectively and efficiently as possible to support the future economic prosperity of their residents and businesses."

In Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo, local political salaries are not connected to benchmarks such as taxation, revenue, spending or population.

•A City of Kitchener councillor is accountable on average for almost $12 million in taxes, $36 million in municipal spending, and 25,300 people. The salary is $50,912 starting in 2019.

•A Waterloo regional councillor is accountable on average for almost $31 million in taxes, $59 million in municipal spending, and 35,100 people. The salary is $43,731.

•This comparison shows regional councillors earn 14 per cent less despite being accountable for more than twice the taxation, two-thirds more municipal spending, and one-third more people.

Williams helped advise regional council on its pay. He sees political salaries as a tiny cost of government.

Slashing them may not produce the savings Ford seeks, if more aides are then hired to help fewer politicians serve the public, he warns.

jouthit@therecord.com

Twitter: @OuthitRecord

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