For small farmers trying to make ends meet, the idea of assistance via a tax break hardly seems controversial. But, as Wine Searcher details, in Bordeaux the Deputy Mayor of Ludon-Médoc, Benedict Simian, has railed against those he feels is using this tax break as a loophole. What exactly is his target? Chateaux that are often owned as part of a portfolio of large business interests. In France, however, all agricultural businesses (including those who grow grapes) are exempt from the tax in question, know as the Territorial Economic Contribution (TEC). So no matter the size of your business, you don't have to bother paying the TEC.
Critics of Simian have one word for him: jobs. They argue that the wine industry provides substantial employment. I imagine their rationale is that if they have to pay this tax, they won't be able to pay their employees. (An argument not confined to Bordeaux.)
So is this tax exemption being exploited as a loophole for businesses who really don't need a break or does it provide job security in the region?