The French govt. has added 2,200 towns to the list of communities that can super-tax second home owners. Amongst them many ski resorts including Briançon, la Grave, The Trois Vallees, la Plagne, Val d’Isere and Chamonix.
The law permits town halls to increase property taxes (taxe d’habitation) by 60%. The justification behind the extra taxes is that second home owners don’t contribute to the local community in terms of buying goods and services. Empty properties will pay 17% of the rental value in the first year, 34% in the second and subsequent years (taxe sur les logements vacants or TLV).
The aim is to encourage second home owners to put their properties onto the market. Town halls may even use the receipts to purchase those properties and turn them into social housing.
If the property is subject to a long term let the rentor will pay the taxe d’habitation. If it is rented via a leaseback the leaseback company will probably pay the tax but will add this to their costs.