Secondary residences: the perverse effect of the surcharge which enrages elected officials
While the government validated in the 2023 finance law the extension of the coastal municipalities which have the possibility of increasing the housing tax on second homes, 6 associations of elected officials, including that of the mayors of France, AMF, are angry at this measure and have suspended their implementation. They sent a letter in early April to the Ministries of Ecological Transition, Housing, Local Authorities and Overseas. Rather surprising as a reaction, at first sight! In question a shortfall linked to another tax, that on vacant housing.
The municipalities, which can increase the housing tax for second homes, switch to so-called tense areas (area of more than 50,000 inhabitants where the demand for housing is greater than the supply). However, in this case, it is the tax on vacant housing (TLV) that applies and no longer the housing tax on vacant housing (THLV). What a difference? The first is collected by the National Housing Agency (Anah), a public administrative establishment of the State, and not by the municipalities, like the THLV. A shortfall denounced by communities.
Few second homes
Because some intermunicipalities have few second homes on their territory but a large number of vacant dwellings. They will therefore not benefit from the increase in housing tax on second homes and will even suffer a tax loss. “For example, Fort-de-France or Le Lamentin in Martinique have a lot of vacant accommodation because they are unsanitary. Local taxes on these vacant units are significant. However, these municipalities can no longer collect this tax. Even if they increase the housing tax on second homes, this does not offset the housing tax on vacant homes. The impact study is therefore poorly done“, underlines Pierre Breteau, mayor of Saint-Grégoire, in Ille-et-Vilaine (35) and co-president of the finance commission of the AMF.
Similarly, municipalities located in the North of France have many vacant homes and almost no second homes, the territory being less touristy. As mentioned in the letter sent by the six associations that Le Figaro has been able to obtain, these municipalities will lose the benefit of the housing tax on vacant housing. “This loss amounts to approximately 25 million euros per year, of which more than half for the overseas municipalities concerned, for whom this revision is particularly penalizing.“The AMF looks at the general interest and observes”a hole in the racket», as explained by Pierre Breteau.
However, there is no danger yet. The extension of the zoning of the increase in housing tax on second homes presupposes that a decree be issued in application of the finance law, but it has not yet been issued. The increase in housing tax on second homes for the 4,000 additional cities has therefore not yet entered into force and therefore the abolition of housing tax on vacant housing. It remains to be seen what response the government will give to the letter from elected officials.