Fleeing 75% Tax Rate? We’ll Always Have Paris – Forbes
Sacre Bleu! Sky high French tax rates topping out at 75% caused France’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, to apply for Belgian nationality. The liberal media condemned his disloyalty but the LVMH scion surely isn’t the only French person thinking the same thing. And high tax rates not long ago seemed so desirable!
Socialists like President François Hollande must have thought the rich would happily–or at least resignedly–pay the tax. The new 75% tax applies to earnings over one million Euros. Why would Mr. Hollande think that?
It turns out the wealthy French asked for it. Think Buffett in a beret. As the New York Times reported here, Welcoming Higher Taxes, but Not That High, many wealthy French signed a petition seeking higher taxes. Talk about a certain je ne sais quoi.
Some of the moneyed French now looking for the exit were signatories. But that was then. Faced with the prospect of paying these let-them-eat-cake rates, I’ll bet Belgium looks lovely this time of year.
High-end Paris real estate may be unusually available. But with a French twist on the Mitt Romney tax rate flap, it turns out the French capital gain rate is perceived as a bigger problem than the 75% rate on earnings. There are already signs the French government may try to undo some of the capital gain tax changes.