Every town owning Proximus buildings on their territory has been illegally collecting tax on electronic communications assets by Proximus between 2003 and 2010, revealed Proximus spokesperson Haroun Fenaux on Tuesday. According to Mr Fenaux, the former Belgacom company was deemed exempt by a civil court a few years ago. He adds that the Rochefort alderman learned of this decision a year ago from the Flemish press, confirming the news first announced by L’Avenir. His town was netting professional tax amounting to 340,000 euros annually from the Lessives site. Global negotiations are taking place at the UVCW (Union des Villes et des Communes Wallones, an organisation grouping Walloon cities and towns), says the Walloon MP, who claims he did not get a satisfactory explanation from the Walloon Minister of Local Government and City Policy, Paul Furlan, last week.
The town of Rochefort is seeking legal advice in order to have access to the civil court decision and be granted time for an appeal. “We are being paid this tax and are directly involved. But we have never received any information on the case. We have not had our say in the matter”, insists the alderman.
“The subsidiary in charge of real estate management, Connectimo, has always contested having to pay taxes on assets, but not on real estate pertaining to the buildings, which were always agreed and paid. Towns will now have to pay these amounts which are quite considerable at national level. We hope to find a solution all parties find acceptable”, added Haroun Fenaux.