France to abolish Taxe d’habitation

The Prime Minister of France, Edouard Philippe, has promised to completely abolish Taxe d’habitation by 2021.

Taxe d’habitation is a residence tax that homeowners have to pay in France, which is similar to council tax in the UK.

Prime Minister Philippe originally stated in August 2017 that 30 per cent of the country’s least well-off homeowners would be exempt from the tax by the end of 2018, while 80 per cent would be by 2020.

Speaking last summer, the Prime Minister said: “Taxe d’habitation is a bad tax, an unfair tax, the basis for which was set in the 1970s without taking into account the development of towns, or areas. Our objective is to reflect on how to have a more intelligent local tax system.”

And at the start of May, the Prime Minister’s office at Matignon revealed that the tax will completely disappear “by 2021 at the latest”.

The country’s President, Emmanuel Macron, has already pledged not to raise new taxes to offset the loss in income this will bring to France’s coffers. Instead, the government is promising that the revenue would be offset by budgetary savings.

Abolishing property taxes was once of the key promises of President Macron’s election campaign.

While the measure has understandably been warmly welcomed by many French homeowners, some local authorities have expressed concern about the loss of Taxe d’habitation. In spite of President Macron’s promises that state funds will cover any loss in finances resulting from scrapping the tax, authorities are worried that it will still lead to amenities being reduced and a scale back of infrastructure in some areas.

Article published 16th May 2018