Property tax: little known, but Gemapi tax is still more expensive

It’s gaining momentum. A small Gemapi tax — or flood tax — is increasingly being used by local elected officials to finance their water management. And they don’t hesitate to inflate the bill year after year. An example in Franconville, Val-d’Oise, where his rate jumped from 0.15% to 0.86%, an increase of… + 520%! Enough to raise the tax from €10 last year to €62 in 2023 for a family of four.

“Increasing this tax actually increases the overall property tax bill for the owners who pay it,” analyzes Frédéric Zumbiehl, lawyer in charge of the National Property Tax Observatory of the National Union of Property Owners (UNPI). And every year more and more taxpayers are affected. »

In 2023, 13 major cities voted for the first time to implement the Gemapi tax. In total, of the 200 most populous municipalities in France, 153 now choose it, compared to 140 in 2022 and 115 in 2021. And there is still room: this tax, which was created in 2015, should allow them to finance water management projects and flood prevention. Each year, depending on projects and bids, the community decides on a rate that will pay the bill.

Unequal taxpayers face this tax

And the amount could skyrocket in the coming years as episodes of flooding and drought increase with climate change. It is also a big difference depending on the municipalities: if the rate reaches only 0.07% in Paris for example, then in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne) or Sète (Hérault) it is 1.34% and 1.29%!

Taxpayers should also be less and less in the same boat when it comes to this tax. A subsidy from the state is actually paid to municipalities or inter-municipalities to help them finance projects. The problem is that it corresponds to the amount that was collected in 2017. For municipalities that did not collect it then or that have since increased it, the shortfall will be clear. And it inevitably falls on the owners’ property tax. Who still use the policy: the amount of Gemapi is limited to 40 euros per year and per household member. For the moment.

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