Capital City Living Allowance

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All Members whose home base is outside the Capital Regional District (CRD) are expected to have accommodation in the Victoria area so they may attend sessions of the Legislature, participate in the work of assigned parliamentary committees, and undertake other MLA duties, as required. The Capital City Living Allowance provides funds for a Member living outside the CRD to have a second temporary accommodation while serving as an MLA.

Members are required to complete a Capital City Living Allowance form to receive the Capital City Living Allowance. There are several options available to Members for the Capital City Living Allowance, depending upon whether they decide to rent accommodation, to purchase a second residence, or to stay in commercial hotel accommodation for those days they must be in Victoria. The Capital City Living Allowance option chosen by a Member is effective until the Member’s living arrangements change, at which time the Member will submit a new form to change their option.

Option 1: Rental

A Member whose principal residence is outside the CRD and who rents a second residence within the CRD to fulfill his or her duties as a Member may seek reimbursement to a maximum of $25,325 per fiscal year effective April 1, 2024 for:

  • Rent;
  • Utilities;
  • Basic telephone, cable and internet service;
  • Furniture rental (maximum of $175 per month, or $2,100 per fiscal year);
  • Apartment content insurance; and,
  • Parking.

A Member may authorize Financial Services to pay rent directly to the landlord. All other expenses will be reimbursed upon presentation of receipts.

To be eligible for reimbursement, the rental arrangement must be with an arm’s length person and as such the Capital City Living Allowance form includes a signed arm’s-length declaration. An arm’s-length relationship or agreement is defined as a transaction between persons in which each acts in their own self-interest. Arm’s-length individuals are, generally, persons who are not related to a Member and who are not involved in other business with the Member. Members are not considered to have an arm’s-length relationship with: individuals connected by blood relationship, marriage or adoption (legal or in fact); former business associates; staff of caucus; political party members; donors to the political party (though they may not be party members); or any other persons the Legislative Assembly Management Committee may designate from time to time.

Option 2: Ownership

A Member whose principal residence is outside the CRD, and who owns a second residence within the CRD to fulfil his or her duties as a Member, may seek reimbursement to a maximum of $25,325 per fiscal year effective April 1, 2024 for:

  • Furniture rental (maximum of $175 per month, or $2,100 per fiscal year);
  • Insurance;
  • Parking;
  • Utilities;
  • Property taxes;
  • Strata fees, if any; and,
  • Basic telephone, cable and internet service.

Members may authorize Financial Services to pay expenses directly to a property manager or strata council. All other expenses will be reimbursed upon the presentation of receipts.

Option 3: Hotel

Members who choose this option will be reimbursed to a maximum of $22,288 per fiscal year effective April 1, 2024 for hotel expenses, including parking and internet services, upon presentation of receipts. The costs to Members of staying in a hotel in the CRD for the purposes of attending a parliamentary committee meeting are not counted against the maximum.

Grandfathered Options

Prior to January 1, 2019, Members had the option of choosing a flat rate $1,000 per month amount to a maximum of $12,000 per fiscal year. Effective January 1, 2019, this option was eliminated. Those Members who were on that option at the time have the choice of staying on that option for the duration of their uninterrupted terms of Parliament or switching to one of the other options. No supporting documentation is required under this option; however, no further reimbursements may be claimed by Members who continue with this option. This grandfathered option is treated as income for tax purposes, with deductions held at source.

In order to switch options mid fiscal year (April 1-March 31), Members must submit the CCLA option form and supporting documents before the end of the month prior to when the change will take effect. All allowances are pro-rated based on the amount of months the option is chosen for in that fiscal year. If a Member is newly elected mid-month, the amount for that single month will be pro-rated by day.

Example: If the member switches from Rent with Receipts (RWR) to Hotel with Receipts (HWR) in February, then the member is entitled to ten months of reimbursement for RWR and two months of reimbursement for HWR.

RWR: $22,000.00/12 = $1,833.33 per month. $1,833.33 x 10 months = $18,333.33

HWR: $19,360.00/12 = $1,613.33 per month. $1,613.33 x 2 = $3226.66

Maximum allowable allowance for the fiscal year: $18,333.33 + $3,226.66 = $21,559.99

 

If Members exceed the maximum allowable allowance for the fiscal year they are required to pay the Legislative Assembly the overages. An invoice is issued by Financial Services with a breakdown of allowances and payments.