It’s part of the tax burden that hits almost every French property. Each year, the owner or tenant has to pay their residence tax. A tax used by the authorities to pay for government equipment and services. But how is it calculated? Are your area rates one of the highest in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais? The answer in maps and computer graphics.
The question is sensitive. Nine years after TF1 broadcast a report that pointed the finger at Tourcoing’s residence tax, the town’s mayor is still defending his position. A few weeks ago, Michel-François Delannoy reminded us all in the columns of Direct Matin that the rates were not the only calculation factor and that the rental value of the property was of more importance. So who should we believe? To bring some light to the matter, here is an explanation showing how the tax is calculated:
It is the gross rental value that the calculation is based on. It corresponds to the theoretical rental value of the property. Many aspects are taken into account such as the size of the property, its modern conveniences and level of comfort (running water, WC, electricity etc.), even its geographical location.
Seen this way, Michel-François Delannoy is defending the undefendable. But in practice, he is right. Because today, the theoretical gross rental values don’t relate to reality. As pointed out by Rue89 in October because as aberrant as it might seem, it is the state of the property as indexed in 1970 that the calculation is based on. Revisions to the cadastral records are only made if a construction permit for existing dwellings or planning permission for new ones is granted. In practice, a farm that offered a minimum of comfort in 1970 but which has since been transformed into a luxury villa may still benefit from a very low rental value index.
This problem brings in its wake fiscal injustice and is recognized by the public authorities. A Senat report filed 13 June 2012 by MM. François Marc and Pierre Jarlier criticises the intransparency of the resident tax calculation and its obsolescence:
“The revision of [French] land registry rental indexes is a must for fiscal justice and a wish shared by local councilors and the tax authorities“.
In spite of the absurdity of the calculation method based on rental value indexes 40 years ago, we can compare local and regional rates in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and so discover which local councils and regional governments apply the lowest and highest rates while keeping in mind that we must not just content ourselves with the figures without forgetting the indexes behind them.
The map gives the 2011 local rates for the residence tax; the darker the colour, the higher the rates. You can see the rates levied by each local council by clicking on the map. Please click here to go full screen!
The map gives the 2011 regional rates for the residence tax; the darker the colour, the higher the rates. The regional governments for which no data is available are in red. You can see the rates levied by each region by clicking on the map. Please click here to go full screen!
The map gives the 2011 accumulated rates (local and regional) for the residence tax; the darker the colour, the higher the rates. You can see the total accumulated rates levied by clicking on the map. Please click here to go full screen!
There are other property taxes in France. Click here to see the difference between ‘taxe d’habitation’ and ‘taxe foncière’, which is also payable on the same property.
Click here to see the ‘waste removal tax’ for property owners and tenants.
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