Paris (AFP)

The Senate voted on Friday night to abolish a surcharge on offices located in the business districts of Paris and Hauts-de-Seine, thus returning to a contentious provision adopted by the National Assembly to finance the Société du Grand Paris.

In mid-October in the framework of the examination of the draft budget of the State for 2020, the deputies had validated an amendment of Gilles Carrez (LR) to create such a surtax of 20%, with the support of the government. But the vote has divided up within the majority.

In front of the majority Senate on the right, Secretary of State Olivier Dussopt reiterated this support: "we found it useful to implement this tax".

But he faced a series of amendments to remove LR and the centrist Union.

The surtax must finance the Grand Paris Express, the automatic metro project around Paris. "How much will this project really cost?" Philippe Dallier, elected LR of Seine-Saint-Denis, said, citing a "state of fiscal perdition" and the risk of "being in a year with a new tax".

"We must put an end to this drift", while a surtax had already been imposed last year, has abounded Hervé Marseille, president of the centrist Union group.

"Businesses can not take it anymore," said the rapporteur Albéric de Montgolfier (LR).

The Socialist senators, through Rémi Féraud, also supported the deletion, judging in particular that there was "no visibility in time".

Marie-Noëlle Lienemann (a group with a majority of Communists) has, on the other hand, estimated that "if it is necessary to create new receipts, this tax is not the most absurd" by going "to puncture places where there is wealth" , not "likely to disappear".

The suppression amendments were adopted by an overwhelming majority on this first reading of the finance bill. The measure will however be able to return during the shuttle with the Assembly, by the end of December.

The bill of the Grand Paris Express, a 200-kilometer metro to be built by 2030, has exploded in recent years, reaching 35 billion euros.

© 2019 AFP