Essex Town Council to Consider Mandate to Freeze Tax Rate

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Essex Town Council will debate a mandate to hold the line on property tax for 2021.

Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche says administration usually brings the first draft of the budget back with an increase.

Meloche is asking his fellow councillors to support a draft that starts at zero to help residents bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our first come back to council, I want to see it at zero per cent and then let council determine whether they want to go higher," he says.

Meloche says 2021 is going to be a tough year with or without a pandemic.

"It's still clawing your way back to a normal world and there's a lot of additional expenses," he says. "There are a lot of people that had less income in 2020 and potentially again in 2021."

Meloche expects a lot of discussion around the council table.

"If they want to give direction to administration to come back at two percent for our presentation then that's what we'll do, but I personally would like to see our first presentation be at zero per cent," he says.

Meloche expects the first draft budget to return to council later this month.

Essex Town Council begins its livestream meeting Monday at 6 p.m.