Retired TAFE teacher Reg Dyett has voted Labor his whole life, but since receiving his latest rates bill, he is re-evaluating his loyalty.
The rates for his Braddon townhouse have doubled since 2014, at a time when utility prices are rising and territory government concessions have been cut.
Rates for units are now calculated on the average unimproved value of the residential portion of the total unit complex and the residential unit entitlement, based on the owner's total residential portion of the unit complex.
Mr Dyett, 88, said he felt "quite upset" when he saw his latest bill.
"It's too much. Some people will suffer more than others," Mr Dyett said.
He and his wife Naysin, 84, are also now re-evaluating their standard of living in order to make ends meet.
"In one way we're fortunate because we haven't got the full pension, we've still got a little bit left of my super, but can you imagine the impact of these rises on people who've got the full pension, and lived here for years in a unit, all of a sudden it's gone up by 50 per cent. That I think is very sad," Mr Dyett said.
Liberal leader Alistair Coe asked Chief Minister Andrew Barr in question time on Thursday why some pensioners were having to pay more for utilities and rates, while receiving fewer concessions.
Mr Barr said the concession cuts stemmed from a review to make the system fairer for more people.
That review found energy concessions should be delivered through a combined concession, rather than via a separate concession for water, sewerage and power.
"The conclusion of the concessions review was that it would be fairer to combine the two concessions to deliver them by way of concession for electricity usage and whether you were renting or a property owner, you would be utilising electricity," Mr Barr said.
"The result of this change and the concession program saw a greater concession offered to even lower income earners in the territory who were previously missing out on receiving any concessions in relation to their water and sewerage use."
Mr Barr added the changes to the territory's taxation system had been made in order to phase out "very bad taxes" and move towards the "fairest, simplest and most effective way of raising revenue".
But Mr Dyett said it wasn't very fair that pensioners did the heavy lifting.
"When they reduced the concessions the explanation was why do we have to spread it around. Why do we have to pay for that? I've been a Labor voter all my life until now," Mr Dyett said.
Asked if cost of living pressures would drive him out of Canberra, Mr Dyett wrapped one arm around his wife and explained this city was very dear to them both.
Mrs Dyett came to Canberra in 1981 as a refugee, having fled a slave camp in Cambodia on a bicycle through a mine field, under the Pol Pot regime.
"We love Canberra. We're Canberra fans, aren't we darling?" Mr Dyett said.
The ACT government's 2017 budget passed the Legislative Assembly on Thursday evening.