Mayor Jon Mitchell says he understands the concerns of property owners in New Bedford after the City Council raised the tax rate Monday night.

Mitchell says however, if the city is going to improve, the residents have to be willing to chip in. "For everybody who says both we can't modernize City government operations, including the Fire Department, and we can't raise taxes at the same time, those are irreconcilable goals in many ways," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says in past years, the City has been slow in paying off debts, and is now trying to catch up. Increases in Police and Fire Department contracts are just several of the contributing factors that made a higher tax rate necessary.

Meanwhile, two City Councillors have asked Mayor Jon Mitchell to veto the tax rate they passed. Steven Martins and Joseph Lopes both asked the mayor during Tuesday night's City Council meeting to veto the tax factor of 175, after the Council passed the rate Monday night. Mitchell seemed amused by the request. "It's just a stunt. They both voted for the measure, and then voted, by waiving Rule 40, to hasten it's arrival on my desk. And then they turn around the next day and said 'Veto what we just voted for'," said Mitchell, adding a chuckle.

Mitchell said a veto is not possible, since he has already signed and submitted the tax rate classification.

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