U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 46 mins

Bowing in 'pigeon' fight, France to offer tax cuts

Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press

France's President Francois Hollande arrives to deliver a speech to ministers and members of the White Book of Defense and National Security committee at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, Monday April 29, 2013. France said Monday it will cut another 24,000 military jobs by 2019 as it attempts to maintain a force ready to deal with global threats at the time when the bill for France's decades of deficit spending is due. (AP Photo/Bertrand Langlois, Pool)

PARIS (AP) -- An official close to the French president says the government will cut capital gains taxes and streamline visas for foreign entrepreneurs, hoping to persuade investors that France is start-up friendly.

President Francois Hollande last year fought accusations of targeting business after proposing an increase on taxes on investments. In response, entrepreneurs calling themselves "pigeons" — France slang for someone who is being duped — launched an online opposition campaign.

The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the new plan wasn't announced, said the average tax burden would be cut could by up to 65 percent for start-up investors and 85 percent for established businesses owners.

Experts say Hollande's initial plan meant an effective tax rate of 60 percent, compared with 15 percent on U.S. capital gains.