Not only does Missoula Mayor John Engen’s proposed budget include a tax hike on citizens of more than 3.8 percent, it also includes pay raises for the Mayor and the city council. NBC Montana has obtained information from the city that if the budget passes as-is, the mayor will be receiving a pay increase of nearly $1.40 per hour, bringing him more than $2,000 extra through the year, with a monthly wage of $7,650.

City council, would also be seeing a pay bump, of an extra $18.74 per month.

These pay raises appear to be part of what is referred to as a COLA, or Cost of Living Adjustment. A few times, Mayor Engen has chosen not to take this pay raise when budgets were tough during the recession. In 2014, Engen told the public he would not be taking his pay raise, but then took it anyway and then boycotted appearances on KGVO’s Talk Back after questioned on the matter… he still refuses live radio interviews on that program to this day.

Comparing fiscal year 2018 to 2019, the new pay raises look like this:

Fiscal Year 2018-

Mayor $7,409.46/month ($42.7469/hour)

Council $1,249.24/month ($576.57/pay period)

Fiscal Year 2019-

Mayor $7,650.26/month ($44.1361/hour)

Council    $1,289.83/month ($595.31/pay period)