France's 75% Tax Could Push Rich Into Mass Exodus
Rich thinking of leaving if 75% tax rate is passed
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2012 11:19 AM CDT
French president Francois Hollande greets spectators on the finish line of the 18th stage of the Tour de France cycling race July 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

(Newser) – France's new Socialist president wants to tax any income above €1 million ($1.24 million) per year at 75%—but if the plan is passed, France could see a mass exodus of its wealthiest residents. Rich residents are calling lawyers, asking if they should consider leaving the country over fears about François Hollande's plan, which Parliament will consider in September. Hollande says the 75% tax would help "get the country back on its feet," but the New York Times notes that just 7,000 to 30,000 of France's 65 million people would be paying the tax—so it may not even help the country, which is aiming to raise €33 billion next year, all that much.

Rather, the tax may be largely symbolic—Hollande will almost certainly need to make cuts to social and welfare programs, which will not be popular with the average citizen; imposing such a harsh tax on the rich could ease the bitterness a little. Already, companies are coming up with plans to get executives out of France, and other companies are delaying plans to invest or expand in the country. Some have already left, including a model, restaurateur, and singer who caused a stir when they all moved just across the border. Indeed, "It is a ridiculous proposal, but it’s great for us," says the manager of a high-end real estate agency in nearby Brussels. "People and businesses come to Belgium and bring their wealth with them."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
France's 75% Tax Could Push Rich Into Mass Exodus is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 87 comments
Aug 9, 2012 4:59 AM CDT
is it surprising the same people that brought us the metric system would tax job creators right out of the country. Obama is drooling over this.
Aug 8, 2012 6:15 PM CDT
Come on over here you rich froggies! You'll get a good laugh listening to our rich buttcracks whining about their tax rates. It'll be a teachable moment.
Aug 8, 2012 3:04 PM CDT
That just goes to show that winning politicians are super fundraisers but not very good economists. Every market has an associated elasticity separating out those who refuse to pay more from the compliant persons who will pay whatever regardless of the price. WIth every incremental tax increase more and more persons who can afford to leave the state or country will do so. Make the tax high enough and they will all leave; ergo, no tax revenue at all. Gov. Brown of California doesn't get it despite all of his years in office. If the biggest state can bankrupt itself and drive away tens of thousands of wealthy ex-residents by tax surcharges, can the USA be far behind? I don't think it is unpatriotic to make moves based on tax survival. It makes sense to me to live in one Carolina which exempts my retirement pay from taxes and to buy gasoline and groceries in the other Carolina which taxes those items less. My car runs better on gasoline which is taxed less.