The coronavirus crisis will cost communities 7.3 billion

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A screening drive in Grenoble, on June 16. – ALLILI MOURAD / SIPA

The bill is steep. The finances of local authorities will suffer a negative impact of around 7.3 billion euros in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, estimates a report by deputy Jean-René Cazeneuve published on Wednesday and which recommends support measures for 2021.

This assessment is in line with that, provisional, of 7.5 billion euros, carried out at the end of May by the deputy LREM of the Gers and which had motivated the government to launch an emergency plan for the communities of 4.5 billion of euros. The shock is caused by a drop in tax revenues (5.2 billion) and tariffs (2.3 billion) but also additional costs linked to the crisis (3.6 billion). It is slightly amortized by the growth of some taxes and operating savings.

Significant revenue losses

Above all, it is very variable according to the communities. Tourist municipalities have thus suffered particularly from the free fall in tourist taxes. The departments have, for their part, seen the collapse of “transfer duties for valuable consideration” (DMTO), that is to say the tax paid for each real estate transaction, and anticipate a strong jaws effect with the upcoming increase in prices. social expenses (RSA…) for which they are responsible.

“The regions will suffer revenue losses which, if they should remain contained in 2020, will be significant in 2021 and will impact their investment capacities”, also underlines the report. In this context, the executive had therefore chosen to compensate for certain losses in the form of advances or compensation, up to 2.7 billion for the departments or even 750 million euros for the municipalities and inter-municipal authorities.

An investment fund for municipalities had also been endowed with an additional billion euros.

Preserve investment capacities

According to Jean-René Cazeneuve’s report, revenues “will experience a relative rebound in 2021 which will be confirmed in 2022”. But it will not be “general” and “it is therefore necessary to consider new state interventions during the finance bill for 2021”, examined in the fall.

Among 32 proposals, Jean-René Cazeneuve therefore calls on the executive to maintain guarantees of fiscal resources for the municipal block next year and to continue to provide compensation to the departments, but also to the regions, in order to preserve their capacities for investments. He also mentions the possibility of providing “additional support” to “mobility organizing authorities” (AOM), in particular Ile-de-France Mobilités (metro, RER, transilien, etc.), which have been hard hit by the period.

The elected representative of the Gers also urges “to learn the lessons of the crisis” by creating “a local finance programming law”, in order to “give visibility to elected officials and reduce their dependence on the State “. It would include, in particular, greater equalization mechanisms between departments, and also between regions.

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