“When will Parisians take legal action against Anne Hidalgo who does not respect them?» This tweet from an Internet user, who reacted to the explosion of property taxes in Paris, did not fall on deaf ears. A tax lawyer decided to take legal action this measure announced at the end of 2022 by the socialist mayor and that Parisian taxpayers discovered a few days ago when they received their tax notice. The surge in the property tax rate is spectacular: +52%! However, in March 2022, Anne Hidalgo promised, hand on heart, that the property tax would not increase in 2023. “There will be no tax increase. I always keep my word», declared the city councilor before the Council of Paris. A promise that she recently renewed, for 2024.
It is this lie that a tax lawyer deems illegal and wants to denounce in court. “The mayor of Paris cannot say “white” one day and “black” another, before the Council of Paris, in the name of the principles of legitimate trust and legal certainty, provided for by European law and constitutional law.», Declares Jean-Pascal Michaud, lawyer at the Court. The first implies the obligation, for the public authorities, to “respect your own decisions or commitments“. Which, in this case, is not the case with Anne Hidalgo. A downside: the principle of legitimate trust “is only intended to cover exceptional situations“. “Legal actions fail if the judge considers that the lie is not strong enough in view of the issues at stakeanalyzes Me Michaud. The judge will therefore have to ess the extent of the increase in property tax and whether the town hall really needed such tax revenue..”
Appeal until December 31, 2024
The lawyer also intends to rely on the law of January 10, 1980 to oppose, on behalf of his clients and himself, the increase in property tax. This text grants local authorities the right to vote on local tax rates. “It is contrary to article 34 of the Constitution which in principle reserves this power to parliament», affirms Jean-Pascal Michaud who can also count on case law to hope to win his case. Last April, justice has, in fact, canceled the increase of more than 17% in the 2022 property tax, in Marseille. Proof that this type of decision can be successfully challenged. Even if the substance of the dispute was different: the administrative court had noted that the documents linked to the initial budget informed the municipal councilors “insufficiently» on the evolution of local tax rates. Whatever the case, Me Michaud decided to denounce “contempt for taxpayers“. “In two days, I have already been asked by four clients to defend them», adds the tax lawyer who declares that “Parisian owners can file an appeal until December 31, 2024“.