French constitutional panel overturns 75% tax on ultrarich

A French constitutional panel has ruled that a 75 percent tax on people with incomes above $1.32 million is unfair.

PARIS — A French constitutional panel has thrown out a plan to tax the ultrawealthy at a 75 percent rate, saying it was excessive.

The constitutional council ruled Saturday that the highly contentious tax, which President Francois Hollande promised to impose while campaigning, was unfair. It was intended to hit those with incomes above $1.32 million.

The French government approved the tax in its most recent budget, but many said it would do little to stem the country's mounting fiscal problems and would drive away the wealthiest citizens. Hollande's popularity, meanwhile, has been tanking as the country's unemployment continued to rise for the 19th straight month.

In recent weeks, Gérard Depardieu — France's most famous actor — moved to Belgium to avoid his home country's high taxes.

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