Lumberton gathering protests tax increase

Over a dozen Lumberton residents protested across the street from City Hall Monday night against any proposed tax increase next year.

The protest comes as Lumberton aldermen prepare to hold a public hearing Tuesday night on raising the city's millage rate from 44 mills to 47.

Mayor Aaron Lott says anticipated revenue for 2008 is just over a million dollars but the proposed budget is $1.3 million.

Lott says the city can operate within its means with a little belt-tightening and accused the aldermen of trying to cloud the issue.

"They were invited and some fliers were passed out earlier today by the aldermen saying this was a 'power' meeting," Lott says. "This has nothing to do with power.

"It's my belief that we can operate on the one million twelve thousand budget. We just have to tie our shoelaces and go to work."

Lott has already vetoed one proposal to increase the city's water, sewer, and garbage rates.