20% tax hike on French second homes, but who is affected?

A 20% property tax hike on second homes has been announced by the French government, applicable on a selection of “tight spot” municipalities across the country.

Before we give you the full list its probably worth noting that this surcharge is only applicable on second homes which are not rented out. Here is the list.

In total this tax is estimated to generate around 150 million euros for local authorities. Yet, if you look beyone the big numbers (and the fact that the majority of foreign owners of a second home in France rent their property out and are therefore exempt) it appears that this is perhaps another way of targeting the wealthy French owners.

Paris is full of second homes … According to the latest figures released by INSEE, in 2011 there were no less than 91,835 second homes and ‘occasional housing’ properties in the capital. As a total this is 6.8% of the total habitat. According to the deputy housing minister, Ian Brossat, the measure seeks to create “leverage.” “In some districts, such as the sixth, almost one in five housing is a second home,” said Brossat.

By the admission of the President of the National Assembly, Claude Bartolone , while noting that he did not have “the actual proposal in his hands,” he said that the idea came from “the request of the City of Paris and the Ile-de-France, who wanted to increase the hotel tax to meet the needs [of supporting the tourism market]. ”