Critics of Riverside County Supervisor compensation say that it doesn’t make sense that county supervisors make 30% more than state legislators. And its likely a gripe they’ve had since 1998.

That was the year that the Supervisors, in a split vote, agreed to tie their pay to the pay of Superior Court Judges. Since then, they have been making 80% of judges’ pay.

Critics say that arbitrarily setting the pay of one group of people off of the compensation of another group of highly trained and specialized judges doesn’t make sense.

But when you compare the perks that legislators receive that aren’t afforded to the Board, the compensation is easier to justify. Legislators receive as much as $28,000 per year in tax-free per diems for every day they work. Because there are no taxes on that money, it’s much like receiving tens of thousands of dollars in extra compensation every year.

From the North County Times:

Former Norco Councilman Herb Higgins, who wanted to cut in half Riverside County supervisors’ pay, contends the formula for their compensation is all wrong.

That formula dates to a decision the Board of Supervisors made in September 1998 with a 3-2 vote.

With Supervisor John Tavaglione and former supervisors Jim Venable and Tom Mullen voting yes, and Supervisor Bob Buster and the late Roy Wilson voting no, the board gave itself a big raise and tied members’ base salary to the pay of judges.

Read the full article here.