One of the best locations in Paris! This gorgeous two-bedroom haven is found on Ile de la Cité, one of the two islands that sit in the center of the Seine River in the heart of the city. It is just steps from the short pedestrian bridge leading to the other island, the Ile Saint-Louis, just behind Notre Dame, and the apartment offers a view of the towers of the world's most famous church.
This exquisite apartment is on the third floor (European) of a well-maintained 18th-century building. Its modern elevator makes it simple to access and you’ll be glad that you did! Beautifully decorated and fully-equipped with every comfort you could desire, this is the ideal home away from home in Paris.
It was the first time getting a letter from the French tax authorities that put a smile on my face. Normally, when one comes in the mail, I cringe, reluctantly open it while praying like hell. This time there was something strange about it. There were some hand-written bits, barely legible, but obviously printed on it; not original. In fact, even after much deliberation, I still can't read what follows the usual "Madame, Monsieur" salutation..."Chez...something or other.
"What followed was this (translation):
You have been exonerated from paying residential tax on your principal residence, and therefore also from the contribution to the public broadcasting fund through the last year. In 2018, it was expected that you would lose the benefit of this exemption.
Nevertheless, in view of the national reform of the residential tax foreseeing the abolition of this tax for all main residences, the Government wishes to extend your exemption this year. Therefore, you will not receive a tax notice on this tax and the contribution nor to the public broadcasting fund for 2018 and you will have no steps to take. It is therefore a powerful measure of purchasing power in your favor: you do not have to pay residential tax or the contribution to public broadcasting this year.
These provisions, which represent an important effort by the State, confirm the commitment and willingness of the President of the Republic to lighten the tax pressure of the French. I beg you to believe, Madame, Sir, the assurance of my distinguished consideration.
Signed "At Your Disposition" (in hand), Gérald DARMANIN Minister of Public Action and Accounts
The last time I paid "taxe d'habitation," it was about 8€ per square meter — and in terms of the value of my property, about .00059 — or about half of one-tenth of a percent! So, the point is that the tax isn't very expensive anyway, but thanks to M. Macron's reforms announced in the fall of last year, as a primary resident, I benefit.
The residence tax is a local tax which depends on the characteristics of your home, its location and your personal situation (income, household composition), assessed based on who occupies the property on the 1st of January. You must pay it if you own or rent long-term. The exemption benefits about 80% of all households in France during this first phase. If M. Macron gets his way, the tax will be completely abolished for all households/homes by 2022.
For now, the exemption benefits those with a maximum income of €27,000 for singles and €43,000 for couples, increased by €6,000 for each additional dependent in the household. Those on the cusp of those thresholds will benefit from a smaller reduction. For now second homes are excluded and the public broadcasting fund tax remains assessed. Others exonerated are those with disabilities and the elderly who cannot support themselves.
I love the line in the letter: "It is therefore a powerful measure of purchasing power in your favor." I guess that means that now that I'm so much richer, I can go out and spend my fortune? And that's the point, isn't it? To put a bit of blood transfusion into the economy! And so I shall!
L'EAU AND BEHOLD
Map of water in Paris
Paris water reservoir
Water Fountains in Paris
Drinking water distribution in Paris
Everyone talks about the water in Paris being full of "calcaire," or calcareous — a term I never knew before. What that means is that the water is mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate, an active ingredient in agricultural lime created when calcium ions in hard water react with carbonate ions to create limescale. It is medicinally used as a calcium supplement or as an antacid, but seriously excessive consumption can be hazardous. It's not great for our hair, skin or appliances, either!
Paris' water supply comes from equal parts of the Seine and Marne and other sources sometimes up to 150 kilometers from the capital. The city's 2.25 million inhabitants and another nearly 1 million people who work here every day consume on the average 514,000 cubic meters of water (2014 figure). The waters from the rivers are treated in two potabilization plants located in the southeast of the city which provide half of the drinking water intended for Parisians. Springs and wells within a radius of 80 to 150 kilometers around the city provide the other half of the drinking water. The water is stored in five main reservoirs and then distributed.
Paris water is safe to drink. It respects the 56 potability parameters defined by the Public Health Code within the framework of European standards which form the highest quality standard in the world. It poses no risk to the health of a person who consumes it all his life.
There are 1,200 drinking fountains scattered in the streets, squares, gardens, cemeteries and woods of Paris. You have the choice between temperate water, fresh water, and even sparkling water!
The Wallace fountains of 1872 we all know and love were designed by Charles-Auguste Lebourg. Made of cast-iron sculptures, they were placed mainly along the most-frequented sidewalks. Named after the Englishman Richard Wallace, who financed their construction, they were a great aesthetic success and are recognized worldwide as one of the primary symbols of Paris. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
Meanwhile, Paris water is highly calcareous. The calcium deposits (tartar) clog your pipes and faucets, reduces the efficiency of your water heater and forces you to use more laundry detergent. If you see suspicious traces on your faucets, whitish deposits on the electrical coils of your water boiler, and your shower head is regularly clogged, then no doubt, your water is too calcareous. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Water that is calcareous is considered "hard." It is recommended to use magnetic anti-scale devices, rather than softeners, which release a lot of salt and therefore change the composition of the water.
Hard water is not dangerous to drink, but it has its disadvantages. The presence of excess tartar reduces the detergent properties of detergents and soaps, hence their increased consumption, with consequences for water pollution. Scale can be deposited on the walls of pipes, boilers, hot water pipes or appliances. It is estimated that a 3 millimeter thickness of scale on a water heater coil can cause 18% energy loss. The life of the devices can also be affected. Hard water can be drying to the skin, linens are less soft, and traces of tartar can get deposited on the enamel of toilets causing stains that simply don't come out. Is your hair suddenly behaving badly, since you came to Paris? No wonder!
How to combat calcaire? Hot white vinegar is very effective at removing scale marks or soaking scaly parts. Try rinsing your hair in a bit of apple cider vinegar! Setting your appliances to low heat temperatures helps keep it off. Adding salt to the water (such as in a dishwasher) to remove the scale, but you never want to drink it!
It's the hard life in Paris, but if that's the hardest it gets, we won't complain much!
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