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Social Security checks slightly increasing in dollar amount won't be much help, said seniors
By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Millions of senior citizens will see a slight dollar increase in their Social Security check come January, but many people in the Borderland question if the extra cash will actually help.
For the second straight year, Social Security recipients can expect a historically low increase of around 1.5 percent. On average, that's around $17 more a month. Experts said that's one of the smallest increases since 1975.
It has many seniors outraged.
"Legislators care more about their own self-interests than what's good for the country," said Kelli Rocha.
Rocha works at a food pantry and sees first hand just how much people really rely on their Social Security checks. She also gets one herself.
"I'm telling you, there are thousands of people in this city that are hurting so badly," said Rocha.
Seniors said it seems every time theyre given an inch, the government takes a mile.
"One year where they took and gave us an increase our insurances went up three times as much as the increase was," said Charles Homer.
Seniors in El Paso will have to pay more this year too, as people experience property tax increases from the city, county, community college and school districts. While everyone's tax hikes will be a little different, below highlights the tax increases based on the average cost of a home, which is $124,000.
The city's increase will run homeowners an extra $25 a month.
The county's tax hike will cost homeowners an extra $51 a month.
The increase from El Paso Community College will run taxpayers an extra $13 a month.
Those who live in the Ysleta Independent School District area will pay an extra $37.
"I'll be lucky to break even, but I still have places and things that I can cut back on, said Rocha.
Experts say the exact increase of the "cost of living adjustment" won't be known until the labor department releases its inflation report in September.