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Essex town hall can be seen in this undated photo. (Town of Essex)

The Town of Essex is already planning for the 2020 budget.

Council on Tuesday instructed staff to start the process with a zero per cent tax increase.

A preliminary report will be presented in November and deliberations are expected to begin in January.

Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche says it doesn't mean the final tax hike will be zero per cent, but he feels it's a good starting point.

"Leave the little pieces out that are going to get us to a two per cent increase, from zero to two per cent increase, leave that out and then let council decide whether we think it's important enough to include the items that would bring you up," says Meloche.

Last year, ratepayers in wards one and four saw their taxes go up by 1.58 per cent. Taxes in wards two and three jumped 1.77 per cent.