Holiday home and Second-home owners in France, including many British expats, can expect to have to pay around double the amount in tax every year under new rules laid out by President Macron.
A precedent has been set for city councils across to increase their tax on second homes, with the aim of discouraging short-term holiday rentals that are seen to be disrupting the housing market and increasing costs for full-time residents. Macron authorized the move in the national budget.
It took immediate effect in Paris and ever since then city councils across France have been following and tightening their rules on second home ownership. A total of 1,151 French councils, towns and cities with a population of more than 50,000 are now eligible to impose the tax increase, and more could follow.
The increase can legally be of up to 60 percent on the basic council tax rate.
Macron’s move will no doubt appease local officials who were incensed last year after he announced his plans to scrap council tax for home owner-occupiers. The tax raise on second homes is also widely popular among French voters, especially for long-term residents of France’s main tourism spots, where finding a well-priced home or finding one at all, is becoming increasingly challenging, largely due to the monopoly imposed by the short-term rental market.
France’s national stats body INSEE reported that there are 3.4 million second homes in France, one in ten of all housing units. Paris has approximately 110,000 second homes.
According to The Times in the UK, there are 200,000 Britons whose main homes are in France and that will not be negatively affected by this legislation.