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French town asks residents to stop paying local tax

A town in Occitanie has asked its residents to stop paying local taxes after discovering that it had too much money on its books.

Le Perthus, a small commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales on the French-Spanish border, voted to “bring the taxe d'habitation and the taxe foncière to zero euros” for the time being, after acknowledging its “abundance of unused resources”.

In 2017, the commune of just 580 residents had an operational surplus of €1.1m, and an investment surplus of €60,500, and no united agreement of how to spend the money.

The town was effectively bringing in money faster than it could invest it, with the local council saying it was in the “very unusual” situation of finding it “impossible to agree” on how to spend its cash.

A statement from the council said: “The council is suffering the consequences of this dysfunction [lack of agreement on spending]”, and called on Le Perthus’ elected representatives to “question the relevant level of tax to be levied from inhabitants”.

In the meantime, residents do not have to pay these taxes.

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