Pa. lawmakers may let officials in small municipalities have higher salaries

If the bills pass, it will be the first time the legislature has raised municipal salary caps since 1995.

The Pennsylvania State Capitol is seen in this file photo. (Tom Downing/WITF)

The Pennsylvania State Capitol is seen in this file photo. (Tom Downing/WITF)

Two of the bills teed up for potential action when the legislature returns to Harrisburg next week would potentially raise salaries for local officials for the first time in more than two decades.

The measures, which are set for a final vote in the Senate, both have bipartisan support.

One would increase the maximum salaries allowed for council members and mayors who serve in boroughs, and the other would do the same for supervisors in second-class townships.

The new salary cap would be based on the Consumer Price Index.

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Right now, a mayor in a borough of fewer than 5,000 people can make up to $2,500 a year. Under the new law, the cap would go up to $4,190. For boroughs with more than 15,000 people, the mayor’s maximum salary would go from $500 dollars per 1,000 people annually to $840 per thousand.

The difference is a little smaller for township supervisors. The maximum salary now is $1,875 for a township under 5,000 people. Under the proposed increase, it would go up to $3,145.

The current caps were established in 1995, and haven’t changed since.

Even if the legislature raises them, municipalities will have to pass their own ordinances to change salaries.

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