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August 09, 2021

France's new president wants a 75% income tax on the rich

If Canada is the greatest country in the world, then surely it must also be one of the most expensive.

This is part of the plan, of course. Canada boasts a sturdy social safety net, including its infamous universal health care system, and this costs plenty. We know this, and it’s why the richest Canadians can lose up to 50 per cent of their salary through income tax payments.

That’s sure high, and too high for some. But be happy, Canadians of means, that you don’t live in France.

If he has his way, new French president François Hollande will introduce a plan this fall where his country's richest will pay a stupefying 75 per cent in income tax.

“We’re getting a lot of calls from high earners who are asking whether they should get out of France,” a partner at Altexis, a firm that specializes in tax matters for corporations and the wealthy in France, told the New York Times.

*Bing: What province pays the most income tax?

Indeed, if Hollande, the socialist politician that beat out incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in France’s May election, is successful, anyone earning more than 1 million euros ($1.23 million) a year will lose three-quarters of it to income taxes.

In disclosure, this affects few French; less than an estimated 30,000 in a country of 65 million earn more than a million euros each year.

But even those that take home normal salaries must find the proposal unsettling.

Hollande says he wants to tax the rich so much to balance the nation, which needs to trim its budget deficit drastically to meet euro zone regulations.

Yet while the wealthy should pay their fair share – this is in no dispute, and even rich people like Warren Buffett concede as much – anything more than that doesn’t feel right. A 75 per cent tax rate isn’t just, it’s injustice.

Do you think a 75 per cent tax rate for the rich is too much?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...