28th Oct 2022
The 'taxe foncière' is the main local rates tax in France, which actually comprises several different levies.
Over the past few weeks French property owners have received notice of their taxe foncière bill for 2022. The size of the bill will depend on the rateable value of the property, but averages around €1,000 a year.
The principal element of the tax is called the Taxe foncière sur les propriétés bâties (TFPB). That is to say, it is a tax on buildings, whether, in the case of residential property, a house or an apartment.
However, the tax is also imposed on land, when it is then called the Taxe foncière sur les propriétés non bâties (TFPNB).
The proceeds of the two taxes are to the local commune and the local inter-communal body, with the latter becoming increasingly familiar in rural areas.
Each council will set the percentage rate (taux d'imposition) or multiplier that is applied to the local rateable values, which themselves are uprated each year (revalorisation forfaitaire) by central government in line with the movement in property values. This year the rateable values increased by 3.4% and they are scheduled to increase by 7% next year.
In the case of the TFPNB the local Chambre d’Agriculture also benefits from the proceeds of the tax, based on their own percentage rate.
In addition to the main tax, several other levies will appear on the bill. The first of these will be the Taxe spéciale d'équipement. This tax is used to finance property acquisitions and works undertaken by the local councils. The amount of the tax is generally very small, less than €10 per household, up to a maximum of €20 per person.
The second additional tax is called the Taxe Gemapi - Taxe pour la gestion des milieux aquatiques et prévention des inondations.
As the name implies, the proceeds of this tax go mainly towards flood prevention and is often shortened to the 'taxe inondation'.
Works it will finance include maintenance and development of rivers, canals, lakes, flood prevention and the sea and protection and restoration of aquatic environments.
In rural areas the tax is charged by the inter-communal body, and not all such councils impose the tax.
The amount of the tax is fixed at a maximum of €40 per person, but most councils who impose it charge far less than this amount.
The final tax is that for waste collection, called the Taxe d'enlèvement des ordures ménagères (TEOM).
Once again, the tax is a discretionary one, and some councils choose to fund waste management directly from the proceeds of the main taxe foncière.
Some councils charge the tax on the basis of the rateable value of the property, whilst others do so on household size.
The amount of the tax is normally several hundred euros a year.
In the Ile-de-France there is also the Taxe additionnelle spéciale annuelle (TASA), used to finance the transport system.
Another small charge you will find on the bill is the frais de gestion de la fiscalité directe locale, an administrative charge imposed by central government on management of the local rates for the councils, but payable by the property owner.
There are various exemptions and allowances on the main tax, which you can read more about in our Guide to Local Property Taxes in France.