MOBILE phone antennae and electricity pylons may be taxed as the government looks for ways to boost its budget after the business-based taxe professionnelle is scrapped.
Almost 50,000 phone masts across the country could be taxed at €1,000 each and the government has been in talks with Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom about the effects.
Meetings have also been held with bosses of power company EDF and railway group SNCF which could also be affected.
The taxe professionnelle is paid by most businesses as a percentage of turnover and capital investments and is a major source of funds for regional and departmental councils and mairies.
Most businesses pay it, though there are exceptions for farms, the press, family-run artisan businesses and some kinds of teaching and artistic, intellectual or sporting activities.
President Sarkozy announced in February that the levy relating to productive investment will be scrapped next year to boost business growth.
The phone companies, EDF and SNCF were amongst the biggest contributors and have also seen the biggest gains.
Now some of the lost money is set to be clawed back, with a decision on the plan due by the end of this month.
TV and radio masts are not affected by the new move.