Taxe Sejour

In our commune (and the 4 surrounding that have amalgamated (sp) with ours) Taxe Sejour has been set at 20c per head per night (over the age of 14) for some years.

To our horror we received notification in the post on Saturday that the nightly rate is going up to 65c AND that it WILL be charged at your max capacity rate regardless of the number of guests staying and regardless of if you have ANY guests! So if you are open you pay!

So this week I have one couple in one of my gites. I have 2 gites that can each sleep 6, they are registered with our Mairie & Prefecture. So I have to pay 12 x 65c per night that I am open!

I spoke (well my wife did as she is fluent) to the tourist office who confirmed our fears & said it was out of their control, but that they are getting inundated with complaints from unhappy gite owners.

We explained that we will have to reduce our capacity to 4 (there will be a cost for this 're-registration') and that we will now be 'forced' to close from end of Autumn half term to Easter as we cannot afford to do otherwise. Apparently other owners have said the same.

Oh, the best bit..... the reason for this hike in tax?.... 'there are too many gites out there who do not contribute and are not registered so the local authorities are not receiving as much taxe sejour as they should'. Great instead of going after those who are not registered, hit those that have paid (in our case for last 7 years) on the dot.

Disgruntled? You bet I am!

Thanks for the replies.

We have now reduced our 'max capacite' & confirmed our 'opening times'. We did pay for a 'rating' with our local tourist office, & because we reach a certain 'criteria' we have to pay T de S at a higher rate! So, when that expires we will not have our gites re-inspected, we'll go ahead 'un-rated' and therefore T de S will be reduced.

We now pay in 2 'halves', the first of the two bills came in at 80,60€ . So they haven't actually increased as much as I had first feared. If the 'second' bill is around the same, then the increase over last year will be about 30€.

About three years fter we started running our chambres d'hôtes in 2000, out local communauté des communes decided to impose a taxe de séjour, with all the asociated paperwork, of course. This was, we were told at a public meeting, to raise money for the 'improvements' to the local tourist office services etc. The rate for us was set at 20c per person per night (usual exceptions).

Now, they had reached this decision by looking at the yeied of similar taxes elsewhere in France - notably in the Dordogne, Côte d'Azur, etc - and concluded that the rates they proposed would give them an income of about 15,000€ per year. Unfortunately,they failed to account for three things - they made no allowance for the cost of the paperwork, they didn't factor in the cost of employing someone for two months to deal with the paperwork, and they ignored the fact that the number of 'liable' enterprises was actually quite small. Result - at the end of the first year, they made a LOSS of 3000€.

For the remaiing years (up to 2010) that we were involved with this hare-brained scheme, every April we received a large envelope full of forms to be filled in (colour-coded by month) plus the usual explanatory bumff etc. Postage on this was (I think 2.60€) Once the end of the season came, they sent us a reminder to return the forms. Once we had done that, they then sent a bill. Then when paid, a receipt.

The largest amount we ever had to pay was 7.20€. As with many of our friends in the same situation, the yeild didn't match the postage costs, let alone the rest.

But that is French bureaucracy for you!

Alice in Wonderland is alive and well!!

The french always take the easy route, they say no so they don't have to do any work or think laterally, which they were expressly forbidden to do at school.

I am being got at in three ways at the same time. No protection from sexual harassment; the local International Relations Department of the CPAM has totally ignored any EU regulations concerning a treatment which I have been unable to find in France and am, therefore, entitled to have in UK and my car insurers are now saying that I am not insured when I was assured that I was totally covered when I increased my cover.

I also lost eighteen euros when I cancelled an order made through C discount. I was told that I needed to pay extra as they could not provide the model I ordered. Somehow the new order never made it on to the paperwork, and when I cancelled as I had no micro-wave, I had no eighteen euros extra either!

I can't think of anywhere else where I have had so many problems at the same time and so little will to do anything to solve them.

They will now tell you that France is a number one tourist destination, but that may well change when they have nowhere to stay.