The reform of rural revitalization zones: a “heavy blow” for rural Aveyron is in sight?

The new system will replace rural revitalization zones from January 2024, which aim to encourage the establishment of entrepreneurs through significant tax breaks. According to the calculations of Senator Jean-Claude Anglars, 80 municipalities of Aveyron could be excluded from this aid which contributes to the attractiveness of the department.

All municipalities of Aveyron are classified as rural revitalization zones. What is the purpose of this device?

Created in 1995, ZRRs help promote the development of rural areas, particularly through tax and social measures in favor of economic development. When a municipality is classified as a ZRR, it allows those who want to establish and develop their business there, for example, to benefit from aid for the employment of health workers or, even, to promote companies that create jobs in less populated rural areas of the community with tax benefits. It is the recognition of the specificity of the priority area.

From December 31, 2023, this system will disappear in favor of the revitalization of rural areas of France…

Yes, I’m in the mood! We currently do not have any data that would allow us to quantify these tax exemptions. They tell us that we have to reindustrialize, and at the same time we want to modify what exists without assessing the consequences. The problem is that this new system was not discussed in the Parliament, it was introduced directly in the Bill on Finance, although we have repeatedly asked the Government to take into account the reports of the Senate for the reform and improvement of the ZRRs.

What specific consequences for the department?

According to my calculations, almost 80 municipalities would be excluded from the new system, and among the “losers” are municipalities in a disadvantageous position, which will be weakened by this downgrading. It would be a heavy blow to rural areas that would be penalized. I discussed it with the Prime Minister and then with Christophe B├ęchu (Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion). The Government’s choice to cancel aid for around 30% of rural communities is incomprehensible.

What room for maneuver now to try to preserve this help suitable for the attractiveness of the department?

We have to act on legislative leverage. I submitted 10 amendments, co-signed with Alain Marc, to change the system in a way that is more favorable to rural areas and municipalities. My amendments, which have received the support of many senators from several political parties, aim, for example, to maintain aid according to types of territory, such as the classification as “mountain zone”, or according to the density criterion. , for municipalities with low and very low population density, which is recognized as an important criterion of rurality.

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