Britons who have second homes in France have been described as a “soft target” for the nation’s government, who are looking to increase taxes on additional properties.
A minimum increase in residency tax, similar to council tax in the UK, will be raised to 7.1 percent according to the latest announcements, a move that will affect more than 80,000 Britons.
But 3,399 councils have also been given permission to apply a surcharge, which means this figure could be much higher and rise by up to 60 percent for some.
These new laws have forced Britons to consider selling their second properties in France to avoid the high costs.
Paris-based Journalist David Chazan, who suggested French President Emmanuel Macron believes Britain “must bear the consequences” of Brexit, said there was unlikely to be any sympathy for those facing this new charge.
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Mr Chazan, speaking to GB News, said: “They are a soft target. No one is going to feel sorry for those who have got enough money to afford a second home.
“Second home owners are also not the kind of people who are going to stage the street protests that are so common in France. So, this is a way of raising money.”
While the residency tax had already caused anger, the discretionary powers to add a tax surcharge of anything from five to 60 percent now given to local councils has caused more fury.
The policy has been extended to rural areas as well as towns and villages.
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Mr Chazan said the tax was in response to a “growing feeling among people in areas that are very popular with second home owners that they are not themselves popular”.
“Locals feel that they drive house prices too high and make them unaffordable for local people,” Mr Chazan said. “So, they are quite happy to see the government doing this.”
Swiping aside suggestions that Mr Macron simply “does not like Britain”, Mr Chazan added that the tax is redolent of the French President’s disdain for Brexit.
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