Tax hike on second homes in “tension” towns
Owners of second homes in major French cities and towns look set to be charged significantly more council tax as part of a government clampdown on empty dwellings.
President Emmanuel Macron has authorised steep taxe d’habitation rises in almost 1,200 large communes where demand for housing outstrips supply. His aim is to discourage Airbnb-style short-term holiday lets and encourage people to either sell their second homes or rent them out on a long-term basis.
Paris has already imposed the maximum 60% hike as has the Riviera city of Nice. The Atlantic seaside resort of St-jean-de-luz has imposed a 40% hike and Bordeaux looks set to levy a surcharge of 20-50%. Cities such as Nantes, Montpellier and Marseille are permitted to impose the surcharge as are the touristy towns of La Rochelle, Arcachon and Aix-en-provence.
However, many communities popular with British buyers are not in the identified ‘ zones tendues’ (tension zones) authorised to impose the hike. The cities of Rennes, Perpignan and Limoges are unaffected, for example, as are the towns of Bergerac, Albi, Angoulême and Béziers.
Cash-strapped mayors in the identified ‘tension zones’ are likely to leap at the opportunity to raise more funds because of simultaneous government reforms to scrap taxe d’habitation for most owneroccupiers across France. To find out if your commune is affected visit service-public.fr/simulateur/ calcul/zones-tendues
The Riviera city of Nice