Among abroad elected officers, worry of a reform of the tax on imported items | EUROtoday

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The port of Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, May 25, 2023.

Overseas elected officers bared their claws on Monday, November 20, on the opening of the congress of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF), in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in Hauts-de-Seine.

In query, the introduced reform of the dock dues. This previous tax on imported items right this moment brings in 1.5 billion euros per yr to native authorities abroad, however it’s usually thought of answerable for life costly in these territories. Set by the regional or departmental councils of Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion, the dock dues finance on common 40% of municipal bills.

“Let us be vigilant, when a measure is spontaneously proposed by Bercy, we can legitimately imagine that the reform results in a loss of financial autonomy, a capture by the State of certain resourceswarned the president (Les Républicains, LR) of the AMF, David Lisnard, Monday morning. We will not accept speeches that say we are finally taking action on decentralization, and actions that unfortunately continue to recentralize action. »

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In the afternoon, the President (LR) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, who in turn received the elected officials, warned: “For more than fifteen years, we have been experiencing recentralization. Our municipalities have lost a large part of their financial autonomy. I call for the greatest vigilance. »

Before the National Assembly’s commission of inquiry into the cost of living overseas, in June, the Minister Delegate at the time, Jean-François Carenco, spoke of ” malfunctions » of dock dues and assured that the tax increased the price of a packet of flour in supermarkets by 27.5%, or those of butter and baby food by 20%. But for Serge Hoareau, president of the Association of Mayors of Reunion Island, if food costs 37% more on the island than in France, this comes from the way in which prices are set in mass distribution, characterized by “opacity”. “We found a culprit, the dock dues are a false trial. It brings 400 million euros to our municipalities and 150 million to the region, and it allows the economy to functionhe said. Removing it would be a declaration of war on communities. »

The political debate promises to be tense

When elected officials lowered the tax on certain products after the social movements of 2009 in Guadeloupe, it was useless, said Jocelyn Sapotille, mayor of Lamentin, because “Importers have increased their margins”.

The current delegate minister, Philippe Vigier, wanted to reassure the city councilors, ensuring that “sea dues will not be removed”. “Whatever happens, the municipalities will not be the adjustment variables of this reform”he continued, promising that the State “will provide a financial guarantee to local authorities”. Mr. Vigier promises ” a consensus “however the political debate guarantees to be tense. “We can ask the query of the relevance of the tax, there are conditions of unfairnessdefends Catherine Conconne, senator (socialist, environmentalist and republican group) from Martinique. We must cease saying what we do not need, the time has come to say what we would like. »

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