Most local councils in France seem to have decided not to impose the higher local rates charge on second homes, so far!
As we reported in our November Newsletter, the loi de finances rectivative 2014 introduced an increase of 20% in the taxe d'habitation of second home owners with properties in designated areas of France.
The higher rate of taxation is a discretionary one available to local mayors in areas of housing shortage to choose whether or not to introduce it.
The measure concerns 1151 communes in 28 urban agglomerations in France, known as zones tendues*, where the official aim of the tax is to persuade owners to sell or let out their second home on a permanent basis.
However, it looks to be meeting with only limited appeal amongst the councils concerned with reports in the French press that only 98 (8.5%) of the councils have imposed the higher rate.
Amongst the councils who have chosen to do so are:23 communes in Alpes-Maritimes (notably Antibes and Villefranche-sur-Mer)
16 communes in the Ile-de-France (notably Paris, Nanterre and Vincennes),
16 communes in the Haute-Savoie (notably Annecy),
13 communes in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (notably Biarritz, Hendaye and Bayonne)
9 communes in the Var (notably Saint-Raphaël and Bandol)
6 communes in Loire-Atlantique (notably Nantes and Saint-Nazaire)
5 communes in l'Hérault ( notably Montpellier)
The city of Toulouse and the council in Villeurbanne (Lyon) have also voted to introduce the tax.
However, that is unlikely to be the end of the story, for councils can vote each year whether or not to impose the additional charge, and the expectation is that more councils will adopt the measure for 2016.
*Zones Tendues: Ajaccio, Annecy, Arles, Bastia, Bayonne, Beauvais, Bordeaux, Draguignan, Fréjus, Genève – Annemasse, Grenoble, La Rochelle, La Teste-de-Buch – Arcachon, Lille, Lyon, Marseille – Aix-en-Provence, Meaux, Menton – Monaco, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Saint-Nazaire, Sète, Strasbourg, Thonon-les-Bains, Toulon and Toulouse.