Taxpayers could face another rise in the precept paid to Maldon District Council as it tries to cope on 41 per cent less money from central government than five years ago.
Councillors will decide on Thursday whether or not to approve a 1.85 per cent increase in the precept, equivalent to £176.24 a year for a Band D property or an increase of £3.20 a year.
It is below the two per cent level at which a referendum would have to be held.
The precept was raised by 1.99 per cent last year and frozen the previous year.
Officers said the rise is necessary to protect frontline services and make up for the shortfall in core funding.