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seeks to reduce empty dwellings by increasing taxes

The Council recently voted in favour of a quadrupling of the surcharge on the taxe d’habitation for unoccupied homes in the city. If voted into law by the National Assembly, this would take it from 60% to 250%, adding several hundred or even thousands of euros to property owners’ tax bills. 

It was only in January that the Council voted to triple the surcharge tax on second homes from 20% to 60%. As recent explosive price growth has brought to light just how far supply is lagging behind demand, politicians have seized on the moment to impose heavier duties on those with empty dwellings in the capital.

The communist front on the city council has long pushed for such a measure and they now need the National Assembly to vote it through later in the year. It would take the average surcharge from €600 to €2500 for second homes, while unoccupied, unfurnished homes would face a tax bill of €4000, up from the current €1000.

A second home is defined as one furnished and lived in for less than 120 days a year, while an ‘unoccupied’ is one unfurnished and off the rental market for more than two years. Estimates are that there are 110,000 second homes and around 100,000 unoccupied properties in , which Communist Front spokesperson Jacques Baudrier will be reduced by the tax.

“This charge will truly encourage property owners to rent out their properties or sell them off, putting thousands of them back onto the market.”

It is uncertain whether the National Assembly will approve the measure, or how the number of days an owner occupies their residence could be determined.

image © Justin Laberge

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