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Hotel tax hike ‘will be axed’

Controversial plans to increase cap on taxe de sejour look set to be scrapped

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a fivefold increase in a hotel tax in France look certain to be scrapped, finance minister Michel Sapin has said.

Last month, MPs voted to increase the cap local councils can levy via the taxe de sejour to a maximum of €8 per person per night.

But the Journal de Dimanche reported yesterday that the draft law will be struck down by Senators when they debate the Finance Act of which it is part.

And Mr Sapin told BFMTV: “"It was a mistake, not the concern of local authorities concerned (...) but we can not give signals of this nature.”

Asked about whether the taxe de sejour hike would be scrapped he said: “It is the members who will decide, but I think… it will be changed.”

Mr Sapin’s comments come after Prime Minister Manuel Valls told RTL radio on Saturday that the proposed tax increase was " too high".

Foreign minister Laurent Fabius and economy minister Arnaud Montebourg have also come out against the planned increase in the tax, which would have seen prices increase for guests at staying at hotels, guesthouses, chambres d’hotes and campsites.

When the plans were first voted through in June, Roland Heguy, president of Union des Métiers et des Industries de l’Hôtellerie said: “Members of parliament are adopting irresponsible measures that will have grave consequences for our hotels.”

And an alliance of tourism businesses, including Accor, Euro Disney and Pierre & Vacances denounced the increase. In a statement, it said: “The mere announcement of this surcharge has already caused concern among foreign tour operators and chips away the attractiveness of our country.”

Meanwhile, senator Luc Carvounas has said that he will file an amendment axeing a €2 per person per night levy on hotel guests in Ile-de-France, to raise €140million a year to fund the maintenance of the region’s public transport system.

Photo: Guy Bembridge

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