Could you present us the theme of local finances for which you are in charge within the association Villes de France?
The theme of local finances is crucial for obvious reasons. The financial capacity of a municipality is indeed the first factor limiting the action of elected officials.
A necessary balance must be maintained between resources and expenses connected to the exercise of competences relating to the municipality.
The scope of these competences varies greatly with the reforms in recent years, the case is not simple.
Coupled with this is the need to ensure that the rigidity of municipal spending is limited. Indeed, as operating resources are essentially made up of State allocations on the one hand, and taxes on the other hand, we must never lose sight of the fact that the decline of the former may, of course, be offset by the rise in the latter, but also by the fall in operating expenses, alas highly rigid for most of them, and investment spending, less rigid but essential… for most of them.
We are not very far away from squaring the circle!
At present, the main concern is of course to analyse the various possible methods to compensate for the abolition of the housing tax.
What are your positioning and thoughts on local finances and especially on the 2019 budget bill and the reform of the housing tax?
We must plan for the ultimate end of this reform: the total abolition of the housing tax.
Two concerns are regularly expressed:
- The first is the risk of our communities’ loss of autonomy, linked to the disappearance of a significant part of our ability to raise taxes, and therefore a major part of our autonomy.
- The second is to be sure to have evolving compensation, not one determined in the form of a set endowment which would be promised to us that it would be indexed… Experience calls for caution in the face of promises of this type.
Two observations must, however, give pause for thought:
- The disappearance of the housing tax is obviously appreciated by our fellow citizens. It is therefore difficult to oppose it.
- Regions see the bulk of their revenues based on a taxation of which they do not control rates. This is done correctly because, as the bases of these tax revenues are quite dynamic and in line with the general economy, they generate recipes that evolve in an acceptable way.
VILLE DE LUNÉVILLE
Hôtel de Ville • 2 place Saint-Rémy
54300 Lunéville • 03 83 76 23 00