Why has my foncière bill been hiked?

Many people have had only small increases in taxe foncière, but there are exceptions

Connexion has heard from certain readers whose taxe foncière bill this year has risen by surprising amounts – up to 25% in one case.

This is despite studies which have reported that average rises across France have been quite moderate this year as we reported yesterday

There may be several possible reasons for a higher than usual rise – firstly, the trend of only small increases is an average and there are always exceptions to the rule.

This is because rises in this tax are typically due to changes in rates voted by the mairie, plus any intercommunal body, plus the department. Each of these authorities votes for a percentage rate which is then applied to half of the theoretical annual rental value of the property (VLC) to obtain the taxe foncière bill.

A study of French towns by Forum pour la gestion des villes found that on average the combined rate applied (ie. rates of the councils added together) rose only 0.3% compared to the rate in 2016.

The town studied with the highest rise in the rate was Limoges, at 6.5%.

Here is an example for a bill in Limoges, where the VLC of the property was €3000 in 2016:

 

2016 combined rate = 35.97%

Bill = 35.97% x €1,500 (half of the VLC) = €539.55, rounded to €540

2017 combined rate = 38.3% (this represents a 6.5% rise in the figure)

Bill = 38.3% x €1,506 (with small annual VLC increase) = €576.80, rounded to €577 (bill is up €37)

 

As you can see, even in a town with a much higher than average increase in rate, the amount extra is a matter of tens of euros: so if your bill rose €100 or more (and you do not live in a very expensive property) firstly, do check with your mairie that there was not an extraordinarily high rate increase, however most likely there is another explanation.

Such reasons could include:

  • You built an extension or a swimming pool over the last year, increasing in the value of the VLC
  • Last year you benefited from a reduction in the tax based on being aged 65-75 and having income under certain thresholds, but your income has risen so you no longer benefit from this.

If, however, nothing changed in either your circumstances or in relation to the property, then a mistake may have been made and you should contact your tax office.

You can make an appeal (called une reclamation) to them until the end of the year after the one when you were billed (ie. 2018).

For more about the local property taxes see our Local taxes in France 2017 helpguide, priced €7.90: at this link.

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