Gerard Depardieu Leaves France After Tax Increases

December 10, 2012

From Reuters:

Actor Gerard Depardieu has become the latest Frenchman to look for shelter outside his native country after a series of tax hikes by Socialist President Francois Hollande on the wealthy.

The "Cyrano de Bergerac" star has bought a house in the Belgian village of Nechin near the French border, local mayor Daniel Senesael told French media on Sunday, adding he had also enquired about procedures for acquiring Belgian residency.

Perhaps this is no great loss for France, particularly because Depardieu has been caught in a few public scandals lately about his erratic behavior. Maybe some French officials will say good riddance or denounce him for being insufficiently patriotic. But this is more evidence that punitively high tax rates can change behavior. Not everyone in France is rushing for the exits but a high enough tax rate causes some to do so. (It's a truism that if the income tax were 100%, no one would be left to pay it since nearly everyone would shelter their income or stop working. Tipping points can occur before 100%.)

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