Property tax freeze sought by seniors

A senior couple living in Charlottetown is wondering where they will get the money to pay a property tax increase this year.

'Disgusted' by tax increase

Bob DesRoches doesn't know where the money will come from to pay the higher taxes on his Charlottetown home. (Brendan Elliott/CBC)

A senior couple living in Charlottetown is wondering where they will get the money to pay a property tax increase this year.

Homeowners across the Island are facing increased costs for municipal services in May, both on the tax bill — up 2.9 per cent  — and in the charge for garbage collection from Island Waste Management —  up 2.5 per cent.

"It makes me feel really disgusted," 64-year-old Donna DesRoches told CBC News Tuesday.

She and her 75-year-old husband Bob DesRoches live on seniors' pensions. The couple lives in their own home on a combined income of about $21,000 a year.

Charges on a $150,000 Charlottetown home

 2011 2012
Taxes $2,704.85$2,784.32
Waste Watch$205

$210

Total$2,909.85

$2,994.32

Bob DesRoches doesn't know where he'll find the extra cash.

"I'm not getting enough money to keep things going," he said.

"After I pay oil and food and lights and all the stuff like that there's not enough money coming in from the pension that I'm getting."

The DesRoches want the province to freeze taxes for seniors, rather than tie it to the consumer price index as the province does now, but Finance Minister Wes Sheridan said that is not possible.

"It makes no sense with regard to the market value versus the taxable value," said Sheridan.

Sheridan noted if a senior were to stay in their home for 20 years, the difference between the market value and the taxable value would become too great.

Sheridan said if seniors find it hard to pay their taxes they have the option of deferring payment until they sell their home.