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Homeowners hit by jump in French property taxes

Ben McPartland · 8 Oct 2013, 11:22

Published: 08 Oct 2013 11:22 GMT+02:00

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Between 2007 and 2012 property taxes in France, known as “taxes foncières” shot up by an average of 21.17 percent.

“Property tax has increased much faster than rents, wages and pensions, and it weighs more heavily on the budget of house owners. It is the equivalent of several months salary,” said the French landlords union UNPI in a statement on Tuesday.

In the same period that the “taxes foncières” rocketed by 21.17 percent, inflation rose by 8.18 percent, the hourly minimum wage by 11.37 percent and private sector rents by 8.23 percent.

This “taxe foncière” is an annual property tax levied partly by local authorities on home owners, even if they rent out the property.

The money raised goes towards the funding of local services.

The UNPI has called on local authorities to put a block on the rate increases.

“To end the rise in property tax the UNPI is demanding once again that tax rates are frozen and can only be raised in line with rents and in line with inflation by a change in law," the statement read.

According to UNPI, the surge in property tax rates is down to the accumulation of various increases imposed separately by regional departments, municipalities (communes) or groups of municipalities (groupements de communes).

“If each increase, taken in isolation, may seem reasonable because they are roughly comparable to inflation, the combination of them has lead to a dramatic rise,” said UNPI.

Tina Caspersen from French Property Experts based on the south coast of France told The Local: “We have obviously noted the rises, but each commune does their own thing.

“House buyers have not been put off by the rises. There is still a huge demand for property in France from people living here and in Britain.”

Nowhere has property tax increased more in France than in the capital Paris, where the "taxe foncière" has seen an eye-watering jump on 67.9 percent since 2012. The astronomical rise is mainly due to the creation of departmental tax in 2009.

Story continues below…

In Argenteuil, Nantes and Saint-Denis the tax has jumped more than 30 percent since 2007 where as the French cities which have seen the lowest rise are Aix-en-Provence (10.44 percent), Reims (11.12 percent) and Nîmes (12.40 percent).

To see UNPI’s report in full, visit their website at www.unpi.org

For more information on the "taxe foncieres", click here.

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Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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