An essential service, the collection and treatment of household and business waste is the responsibility of local authorities. Depending on the choice of territories, it is the municipality or a group of several municipalities that manages this service and invoices it by means of a local tax.
To each their own tax
Several funding systems exist for waste collection. First option, very widespread: the TEOM, or household waste collection tax. It applies to all properties subject to the building property tax and even to those temporarily exempt. Primary or secondary residence or simple parking in a building, it’s all the same. And it doesn’t matter if you only stay there for short stays without using the collection service, you’ll still have to go to checkout. Only houses located in an area where the service is not provided escape TEOM. However, the cost of this tax can be high since it is calculated on half of the cadastral rental value of your property (i.e. the level of potential annual rent if it were rented) multiplied by a rate freely fixed by the municipality.
The community may otherwise prefer a household refuse collection fee or REOM. The advantage? It is only due if you use the waste collection service and is calculated based on the volume you produce. Depending on the case, the municipalities can however choose to combine a fixed and proportional part or to fix a fixed price per household or size of the household. Although it is rarer, some cities finally provide a free collection service for households, choosing to apply only a special fee to professionals.
From owner to tenant
If the payment of the REOM does not pose any particular difficulty, that of the TEOM can generate conflicts when the accommodation is rented. With regard to the tax authorities, it is in fact the owner who is solely liable for this tax. However, the law provides that he can recover the amount through the rental charges which are provisioned each month.
But be careful, only the tax and only the tax can be billed to the tenant. Conversely, the “role fees” of 8% applied by the administration for the management of the sums collected cannot be claimed, which however sometimes happens quite illegally. It is therefore necessary to read the details of the costs during the annual adjustment.
Moreover, as a recoverable charge, the amount of this tax must correspond to the period actually rented. If the tenant leaves during the year, it will therefore be necessary to make a pro rata payment. Between two rentals, it is therefore the lessor who will have to pay this local tax. However, if a rental unit remains unoccupied for at least three months, due to a cause beyond its control, its owner can request a discharge or reduction of the TEOM.
Towards more equity?
The Energy Transition Law for Green Growth of 2015 set a target for 25 million inhabitants to be covered by incentive pricing for garbage removal by 2025. When households pay according to their volume of waste, they tend to be more reasonable. For the time being, however, a good number of municipalities prefer to keep the TEOM, which is much more profitable, based on the size of the dwelling.