Ms Essex made the claim as she announced the local government revenue and capital settlements for the 22 unitary authorities in Wales.
'I will monitor the position carefully and will take appropriate action to keep council tax increases to reasonable levels if it is necessary to do so,' she added.
Councils in Wales are next year set to receive an average 4.4% increase on the previous year's revenue settlement.
This amounts to£3.7m, up from£3.5m in 2006/07. The increases range from 3.1% at Isle of Anglesey CC to 5.6% at Bridgend County BC.
From 2007/08 there will be separate financing arrangements for firefighters' pensions, and to this end£10.5m has been transferred out of the local authority settlement to form a separate fund. This fund will also be supplemented by£1.4m from Assembly Government reserves.
Specific grants for 2007/08 will amount to£584m. This includes the post-16 education grants and the£11.6m provided in the assembly's final budget for schools.
The capital allocation for 2007/08, including specific capital grants, has increased to£660m, an increase of 5.9% on the current year.
The general capital fund amounts to£217.4m, of which£54m is paid as capital grant and£163.4m is provided as support for borrowing.
Ms Essex said: 'I believe this to be a good and reasonable settlement for local authorities.'