HAMLET — Of the five candidates running for city council and mayor, one has not paid his city tax bill. And that has set the rumor mill swirling.
Jerry Lamont, who filed July 21 to run for a council seat, has not paid his 2016 city property taxes. His name was listed in a July legal notice advertising that fact in the Richmond County Daily Journal and mentioned this week in an anonymous call to the newspaper.
This week, an unidentified “city administrator” asked Hamlet Tax Collector Jennifer Turner for Lamont’s tax records, which she handed over because they are public record.
City Manager Jonathan Blanton, Mayor Bill Bayless, and council members Jesse McQueen and Eddie Martin all said Wednesday that they had not asked for Lamont’s tax records. Blanton works for the council, and Bayless, McQueen and Martin are running for re-election.
Records show that council hopefuls Stephanie Dixon, McQueen and Martin all have paid their 2016 taxes since bills were sent out in September of last year. 2017 taxes are not due until January.
Bayless, running for re-election as mayor unopposed, also has paid his 2016 taxes.
Lamont, a retiree, said Wednesday that he was aware he had not paid his taxes but had faced financial difficulties.
“I should have the money in about two weeks,” he said.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.