Will the audiovisual levy adapt to new uses?

The tax contribution to public broadcasting is still strongly linked to the use or not of a television. A principle that some parliamentarians wish to change.
 | 11.10.2018 at 18:10
 • Updated
11.10.2018 at 18:40

By Dorian Girard

                                                                                                                Most French taxpayers have received or will soon receive their housing tax, to be paid before November 15, as well as their contribution to public broadcasting (CAP). On several occasions, the idea of ​​a fee reform has been debated. It would no longer be adapted to the uses of French homes, according to some MPs.
What is the fee? Contribution to the public audiovisual sector is paid by individuals and professionals and contributes to the financing of public audiovisual organizations such as France Télévisions, Arte France, Radio France, RFO, Radio France Internationale (RFI) or the National Audiovisual Institute (INA). It amounts to 139 euros in metropolitan France and 89 euros in an overseas department.
According to the draft budget law (PLF) for the year 2018, resources from the fee were about 3.9 billion euros.

The contribution to public broadcasting is paid by both individuals and professionals who own a television. In 2015, 1.2 million people said they did not own one.
On the other hand, the amount is the same as one owns one, two or ten televisions. It is paid at the same time as the housing tax, for taxable households.
The number of households subject to the license has increased over the last ten years, from 24.9 million in 2006 to 27.4 million in 2016. But a significant portion – 4.3 million households – enjoys a exemption or relief.
How to adapt to new uses The current contribution is based solely on the possession of a television and excludes from taxation computers, tablets and telephones, which nevertheless make it possible to access television programs via the Internet. However, the household television equipment rate is down, from 98.3% of all households in 2012 to 93.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

In addition, all royalty-funded programs do not require a television set. This is the case for all Radio France programs, for example.
This is why the Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen, said in September to change the tax, so that it is "disconnected from the possession of a TV."
A fee for all? The proposal of the Minister of Culture was quickly contradicted by Matignon. But it was taken up by a parliamentary report, published on October 4th. Its author, MP Aurore Bergé (LRM), also wants to universalize the contribution to public broadcasting, through a lump sum contribution per household, without changing "exemptions under conditions of existing resources."
A contribution that has become universal would first of all make it possible to anticipate a decline in this tax revenue; decline considered "inevitable in the short or medium term" and linked to the decline in traditional consumption of television programs. It would also have the advantage of reaping 100 to 150 million additional euros each year, which could be used to "free the public audiovisual advertising constraints, by removing advertising on Radio France – including its digital spaces – and on France 5 ".