Villeneuve-Minervois, 980 inhabitants, 18 km from Carcassonne (Aude), benefits from a double reputation firmly rooted in Piedmont in the Montagne Noire: an attractive and dynamic town perfectly well equipped… and a commune where the land bill is steep with a stratospheric rate (voted by local elected officials) of 100.5%. The highest in France.
“We just paid €1,530,” says Mireille, an accounting secretary at a craft firm with a memory for numbers. And we only own a village house of 92 m2 with no plot in the heart of the village where the road needs to be restored,” he continues, reserving the last arrow for accession leases that allow the lucky recipients “exemption from property tax. for ten years for cardboard houses built on former agricultural land”.
Alain Giniès, who has been at the town hall for twenty-seven years, does not avoid the score that makes his city the champion of France. “In Villeneuve, the basis for calculating the tax is low, very low, so the rate is high if we want to benefit from a perfectly equipped city center that allows poor residents of the surrounding small towns to use our facilities,” explains the man who is also the socialist vice-president of the Aude department.
And he lists the joys of life here: a rural cinema, a media library, several cafes and restaurants, a pharmacy, a stadium with a stand for rugby, a multi-purpose room, a unique system for housing seniors. And a brand new bridge to replace the one that was washed away by the terrible floods in Aude that happened on the night of November 12-13, 1999. “We have 16 municipal employees, including two Atsems in the school. There is no deficit in the accounts here,” he continues, announcing a 2023 budget of 2 million euros for operating costs of 1.2 million euros and an investment capacity of around 450,000 euros.
“I prefer that to a village where you’re bored”
As expected, the important Audeis cries over the erosion of its overall operating allocation and the remarkable increase in municipal contributions to the various unions and the Carcassonne agglomeration in solidarity with the central city in the financial pact.
That’s what Roger Dano sees on his computer screen, who has been saying for years that City Hall has a heavy hand. He is about to transfer 1,362 euros for his retirement home with an area of 90 m2. 200m away, André, also retired, lists the weight of his property tax: €2,200 for a beautiful modern house of 100m2. “Of course, it’s always too expensive. But we are lucky to live in a beautiful village with underground electricity and all amenities, plus activities and clubs. I prefer that to a village where people are bored,” he concludes.