French village is so rich the locals pay no tax


State auditors have told a French village near the Spanish border it is “too rich” to continue taxing residents and should cancel council and property taxes this year. Stock image
State auditors have told a French village near the Spanish border it is “too rich” to continue taxing residents and should cancel council and property taxes this year. Stock image

State auditors have told a French village near the Spanish border it is “too rich” to continue taxing residents and should cancel council and property taxes this year.

Le Perthus, a community of 586 people, takes more than €780,000 a year from parking fees alone. People from the surrounding region park in the village while they cross the border on foot to shop in Spain, where food, clothes and household goods are cheaper.

Andre Pezziardi, head of the Occitanie Audit Office, said: “We concluded that local taxation should be reduced to zero for council and property taxes.”

Last year the council spent less than €5,600 of €269,000 earmarked for public facilities because the mayor and councillors could not agree how to spend it.

Marie-Helene Ruart-Lucquin, the mayor, said councillors voted against a playground, a medical centre, a library and other projects. “For the past two years I’ve had opposition councillors who vote against projects and so we can’t invest in the community,” she said.

“There’s no need for us to keep paying,” said Michel, a local businessman. “The council isn’t doing anything with all that money. But I won’t raise my glass until I see my tax form with zeroes.”

Irish Independent

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