A proposal to free up properties in Paris was approved at the beginning of July 2017 and could result in a major increase in council tax payments for UK residents with second homes in the French capital. The changes would result in an average payment increase of over €2,000 (around £1,750), a hike surely likely to prompt some to think about selling up.
The plans, which have been approved by the Parisian council, will raise the surcharge rate payable by second-homeowners in the city to more than four times the current 60% rate, a move which will make the charge 250% higher than the usual rate. “There are too many second-homeowners who come here for three or four days a year and leave their flats empty the rest of the time,” said Jacques Baudrier, the councillor who proposed the scheme, adding: “I want to make them pay.”
The average council tax bill for main residences in Paris was around €1,000 (£877), with the surcharge for second-homeowners being around €600 (£526) on top of this. The new proposal would mean the surcharge would go up to just under €2,500 (£2,200), making the total annual bill a hefty €3,500 (£3,000). The proposals would also see the annual tax bill for vacant properties rise from €2,000 (£1,750) to €8,000 (£7,016). There are around 110,000 second homes in Paris, with a further 100,000 vacant properties. Whilst the proposals require approval from parliament before they can become law, if they are approved they could boost the city’s coffers by €200 million (£175 million).
Paris’ deputy mayor, Ian Brossat, has stated that the reasoning behind the tax is to prevent Paris from seeing a similar property situation to that in London, where working and middle class people are finding themselves priced out of the market more and more. Statistics suggest that Paris has seen the number of owner-occupied homes increase by just 3% in the last fifteen years, whilst non-resident owned homes have risen 43% during the same period.