Flight of the FrenchSource: Newsweek (adapted)Sept 26th/Oct 226

Flight of the FrenchSource: Newsweek (adapted)Sept 26th/Oct 3rd 2005The Belgians call them "fiscal refugees", but these refugees wear Chanel. They are runaways from high taxes in France. Officially, France has lost, on average, one millionaire or billionaire tax payer per day for tax reasons since 1997, when the government started trying to track capital flight. Privately, economists say the number is much higher. "The statistic is stupid," holds French economist Nicolas Baverez. "It's as if, to count contraband, you only counted what people declared at the border."While much of Europe has revised its tax codes, France's fiscal inertia is virtually begging its rich to leave. Holding dear its commitment to égalité and fraternité, France has bucked the trend in the European Union, where most member states have dropped the wealth tax since the mid-1990s. France went the opposite way in 1997 by abolishing a cap that limited the wealth-tax bill, which kicks in at incomes over 720,000 euros to 85% of a taxpayer's income. The result: some pay more taxes than they earn in income.The text refers to France's

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