Elections pay off with a pay increase for this year’s winners | CraigDailyPress.com

Elections pay off with a pay increase for this year’s winners

— The pay for newly elected county politicians will increase on Jan. 1, 2017 with other elected officials seeing raises on Jan. 1, 2019.

Salaries for state and county elected officials are set by the Colorado General Assembly.

Officials elected on or before January 2016 will receive various raises as the result of the passage of Senate Bill 15-288 in 2015 that guaranteed a 30 to 61 percent increase in pay.

The salaries of officials elected before January 2016 will remain the same until such time as they are reelected and qualify for the new salary.

Change in compensation for county level elected officials

Prior to the adoption of SB 15-288 in 2015, elected officials hadn’t seen pay raises since 2007.

Routt County was considered a Category II community previously paying commissioners $72,500. Routt County is now classified as a Category II-A community with newly elected commissioner pay increasing to $94,250.

Moffat County and Rio Blanco counties were considered Category III communities paying commissioners $58,500, but are now classified as Category III-A communities, according to Colorado Revised Statue 38-2-102, taking the new pay up to $76,050.

“This means that each new commissioner salary increased by $17,550,” said Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis. “These increases are ‘statutorily required.’”

Incumbent Commissioner Frank Moe’s salary will not increase until he is reelected.

After Moffat County’s 2019 election cycle, the sheriff’s salary will go up from $76,000 to $98,800; the treasurer, clerk and assessor will see their salaries rise from $58,500 to $76,050; the coroner’s salary will increase from $33,100 to $43,030; and the surveyor’s pay will move from $3,300 to $4,290.

SB 15-288 also continues the new rate of pay to be adjusted annually based on the consumer price index for Denver-Boulder-Greeley.

The bill was subject to petition. Referendums of petition needed to be filed within 90 days after final adjournment of the general assembly in the spring of 2015. If it had been successfully petitioned, the salary increase would have gone to a vote of the people during this year’s general election. That was not the case.

On Sept. 15, 2015 Routt County commissioners agreed to accept pay raises for elected county officials under the 2015 state law. Moffat County commissioners considered the bill in 2015 but took no official action.

Counties have the option to request reclassification, but that requires SB 15-288 to be amended through the Colorado General Assembly.

Compensation for state elected officials will increase in 2019

Raises for state Legislators will go into affect on January of 2019 when state lawmakers’ annual pay will increase from $30,000 to about $42,000 or 25 percent of the total annual salary paid to the judges as established in SB 15-288.

The bill also established new wages based off a percentage of the annual paid to judges for five other state offices including the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and treasurer and the attorney general — all of which will take effect until January 2019.

U.S. Congress and the President of the United States compensation

Compensation for the president of the United States has been frozen at $400,000 since 2001. In addition to an annual salary of $400,000, there is also a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment, according to Business Insider’s website.

In 1999, then Pres. Bill Clinton proposed and Congress passed the raise that went into effect in 2001 when Pres. George W. Bush took office.

Ex-presidents did not earn pensions until 1958 when Congress put in place the Former Presidents Act, providing the benefits today’s leaders now receive described in a report issued in March by the Congressional Research Office.

According to the report, since the Former Presidents Act, retired presidents receive a pension based on the salary of the current administration’s cabinet secretaries, which was $205,000 in 2016. Former presidents also receive Secret Service protection for themselves and immediate family, free postage, travel funds and benefits for spouses.

Members of Congress are required by Article I, Section 6 of the US Constitution to determine their own pay that is currently set at $174,000 for regular members, with a salary increase on January 1 of each year unless Congress votes to decline it.

Individual members of Congress can decline an automatic annual pay increase.

Both houses of Congress voted not to raise member salaries for the years between 2010 and 2016, according to a June report by the Congressional Research Office.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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