While Francois Hollande's proposal for a top tax rate of 75% may have proved popular in last year's French elections, there are more and more signs that the tax may never actually see the light of day.
For one thing, at the very end of 2012 France's highest court ruled that the way the proposed tax was designed was unconstitutional, as the tax applied to individuals with an income of over 1 million euros ($1.3 million) a year rather than households. This meant that households with two incomes of less than 1 million euros would be taxed far less than a household with one income of over 1 million euros.
While this ruling doesn't rule out the tax entirely, it is a major spanner in the works, and means the tax will not be included in the 2013 budget.
Hollande's government has announced that they hope to include the 75% tax in the 2014 budget, Bloomberg reports. The tax will be refined to ensure that households with the same income pay the same level of tax.
However, there is a problem with this all. While the tax sounds dramatic, it's only expected to make between €100 million to €300 million a year for French coffers — an insignificant sum next to France's roughly €85 billion deficit.
And vitriol over this tax (and others) is making things rather tense in the country, with major newspapers telling titans of French business to "fuck off" and the country's most revered actor being given Russian citizenship after the French Prime Minister called him "pathetic". Right now the hashtag #JeDemandeLaNationalitéRusse is trending in France, a reference to the Gerard Depardieu debacle.
As Carol Matlack notes at Businessweek, even Hollande's allies are losing enthusiasm for the tax, and it's beginning to look like the tax could go the way of Nicolas Sarkozy's carbon tax, quietly shelved in 2010 after a similar judicial decision.
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