Letters: New West a 'money-grabber' when it comes to vulnerable seniors

Editor:

Re: New West should compensate rental building owners for lost value, Record Letters, Feb. 3

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I agree with your comments, Dale Darychuk, and would like to piggyback on your thoughts.  

The city itself may be considered a money-grabber when it comes to vulnerable populations. 

What I'm talking about is constantly raising taxes and utility charges.

I've raised this issue before with members of council and the mayor. They all listen, but are not responding to the concerns of seniors who are also property owners. 

I feel like a broken record, but have been taught that persistence is often rewarded and I will be persistent. Our pensions go up very minimal amounts; in fact, my municipal pension is limited to a two-per-cent annual increase, which may be adjusted if the pension fund investments have performed well. I'm fortunate that last year the fund investments did do well and I received a whopping 2.1-per-cent increase. But the cost-of-living increase is beyond that point and my property taxes and water/sewer/garbage and power bill will go up only only five per cent this year, if I'm lucky. 

Oh yeah, I can get a wee break on the water/sewer/garbage if I live alone in my property, so if I rent out a portion of it to try to keep my head above water with these city taxes, I don't qualify. 

And now, it looks like if I happen to get a bad tenant, I'm up that proverbial creek without a paddle.

I - and I'm sure most property owners who are seniors in this city - have worked very hard and scrimped and saved to have the peace of mind of owning our own home so we won't be tossed out on the street in our elder years, only to discover the city is adding "refuse" to the proverbial creek. 

Come on, City of New Westminster, you've helped renters, you've helped the homeless, you've helped marginalized women, you've helped countless other groups - we senior property owners need help too.

Mary Gagnon, New Westminster

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