The Essonne department is tracking economies in the face of the collapse of its revenues

Published on Nov 24, 2023 at 6:08 p.m.

Essonne is the one of the most affected departments in France by the sharp drop in transfer taxes for valuable consideration (“notary fees”), in 2023. The cause: the fall in the volume and prices of sales in a context of real estate crisis which results in a reduction in duties mutation. The loss would be around 80 million euros for Essonne in 2023. We must also add a drop in VAT revenue, value added tax, of 12 million euros and a few million due to reductions in state grants.

These hundred million euros less are all the more difficult given that at the same time the department’s constrained expenses have increased. The community’s 2023 operating budget, which includes 96% of compulsory expenditure, is in fact an increase of 77 million euros compared to 2022. Solidarity payments (in particular the RSA) are thus increasing as well as expenditure on energy and those due to inflation.

“Worst case scenario”

“We are experiencing the worst-case scenario with volatile revenues, very dependent on economic activity while we have no room for fiscal maneuver,” worries Nicolas Samsoen, vice-president (UDI) of the departmental council who presented the budgetary orientation report. Between 2016 and 2023, revenue linked to transfer taxes increased by 100 million euros, and, at the same time, expenses by 200 million. “Over this period, transfer taxes were able to absorb half of the increase in spending. But these rights are now collapsing and 2024 risks being very difficult,” indicates the elected official.

With the new trajectory voted on today, we respect the financial mantra that the State hypocritically never applies to itself, that of responsible budgetary management.

François Durovray President of the Essonne department

The only solution for the community which will vote on its budget in the coming weeks: identify savings items. The department thus announces that it will strengthen its management efforts by limiting the resources allocated to operations to 1% with a forecast inflation of 2.6%. Above all, it plans to postpone certain investments to reduce this item by around 80 million euros for the year 2024 (i.e. 240 million instead of the 320 planned).

White year

This will be particularly the case for several operations, construction or rehabilitation of colleges. Essonne is also announcing a “white year” for certain planned measures such as aid for stone, road works or the renovation of the Chamarande estate.

Despite these efforts, the department believes, through its president (LR) François Durovray, that the account will not be there. “With the new trajectory voted on today, we respect the financial mantra that the State hypocritically never applies to itself, that of responsible budgetary management,” deplores François Durovray who calls on the government to obtain a overhaul of departmental financing mechanisms as well as real financial autonomy.

In particular, he calls for the payment of emergency financial compensation and the recentralization of the RSA.

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