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One-in-five French municipalities 'expected to raise property tax'

This is despite the fact that the government has asked councils not to increase the tax and even try to lower it

We look at why the taxe foncière set to rise in France Pic: Philippe DEVANNE / Shutterstock

Homeowners in France could be hit in the wallet this year by local property tax rises.

Paris (+52%), Grenoble (+25%) and Lyon (+9%) have already hiked their taxe foncière (property owner's tax).

It is estimated around 20% of municipalities could follow suit, Franck Claeys, deputy delegate of the Association of urban France communities (L’association de collectivités France urbaine), told Le Figaro.

Councils must decide before April 15 on whether to increase the tax.

It comes on top of a 7% national increase to the property values that are used -- in conjunction with local rates -- to calculate people's bills.

The only way this would not be passed onto homeowners is if local authorities reduced the rates they apply.

Read also: Taxe foncière, taxe d’habitation: how are these worked out in France?

On the plus side, conditions to obtain a €100 taxe foncière reduction for people aged 65 to 74 on January 1, 2023, or an exemption for people aged 75, have been made a little easier. 

These are conditional on the receipt of certain benefits or a low income. 

Previously, people could only claim if they were living with people meeting the same criteria. 

Read more: Exemptions and reductions extended for the taxe foncière in France

This rule has now been lifted so people meeting the criteria can claim even if, for example, they live with an adult child who does not meet the ‘low income’ criteria. 

Conditions have been relaxed for low-income taxpayers to have a reduction or exemption on their former main home (and a taxe d’habitation exemption) if they move to a retirement home. 

They benefit even if they let it be used for free by people other than their spouse or dependents who were living there when they left.

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