Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and city council have been given a 2.41% wage increase this year. CTV News Calgary reported some people are arguing Calgary city council should not receive a raise amid higher fuel taxes, soaring utility prices, expensive grocery prices and a property tax increase for most people. “This is something they knew was coming, they also knew that Albertans are really struggling with affordability and there are increased costs that have hit them,” said Mount Royal University public policy professor Lori Williams. A few years ago, city council put the wage increase decision into the hands of an independent committee, which takes Albertans’ average weekly earnings into account. “It’s a result of that committee’s work back in 2020 that this increase is being proposed,” said Gondek. Gondek’s new salary is $213,000 per year, and city councillors make $120,000. In November, it approved a 7.8% residential property tax increase. That increase is one reason why former Calgary city councillor John Schmal sent a letter in December asking for it to call off the automatic raise. Schmal called the raise “very irresponsible.”“They keep increasing the cost of living to live in a home,” said Schmal.“They should not be getting an increase based on their performance.”This year marks the third straight year of increases for the mayor and council and follows three years where the cohort decided to not take raises. “It is symbolic because every dollar they earn comes from taxpayers,” said Williams. Calgary Coun. Kourtney Penner said the raises are reasonable. “When compared to our peers at the provincial and federal levels based on population represented and workloads, I believe our compensation is fair,” said Penner. Calgary Coun. Dan McLean disagreed with the increase after delivering another tough budget. “Three tax hikes, three pay raises, so I believe that a council that keeps raising taxes probably doesn’t deserve a pay raise,” said McLean. Gondek said it was not too late to make changes if council chooses to. “I’m absolutely open to doing something different, but I want to hear from my colleagues,” said Gondek.“I also think it’s really important to hear from the members of that committee.”Council meets for the first time this year on January 16, where this issue is expected to come up. Gondek said she has contacted councillors to hear their perspectives and wants to ensure people know all of the details. The City of Calgary decided in 2022 to set its proposed four-year operating budgets at $4.68 billion in 2023, increasing by $323 million by 2026 to $4.9 billion.READ MORE: Calgary home owners to see property taxes go up 5.2%Once approved, owners of an average single-family home in Calgary would be hit with a 5.2% property tax increase in 2023. The overall property tax increases were forecast to be 4.4% in 2023, with an average increase of 3.7% over the next four years.