Gerard Depardieu has said adieu.
France’s most famous actor has moved to the village of Nechin in Belgium, just over the border from France, to avoid his home country’s new 75% millionaires tax implemented by the socialist government of President Francois Hollande. Depardieu is reportedly planning on establishing legal residency in Belgium.
Nechin Mayor Daniel Senesael is pleased that the iconic actor has become a resident of his small village, according to the London Telegraph:
“He has moved in already and he is very welcome here.
“He enjoys our countryside and our easygoing, rural way of life. And of course he also enjoys our lower taxes.”
According to Reuters, “Belgian residents do not pay wealth tax, which in France is now slapped on individuals with assets over 1.3 million euros, nor do they pay capital gains tax on the sale of shares.”
Gerard Depardieu has 194 IMDB entries, including a number of American movies. He is perhaps best known for playing the title character in Cyrano de Bergerac.
An increasing number of rich French citizens have left or are considering leaving France as a result of the new tax levy. US actor Johnny Depp left France for similar reasons.
Wealthy and overpaid entertainment celebrities probably should be required to pay more in taxes, but the irony is they often have an army of accountants who find loopholes.
You’ve probably met some wealthy people who are loathsome creatures. The problem with class warfare, wherever it is practiced, however, is that the real casualties are the middle class. When the rich leave a country, they take investments and jobs with them, especially if they are from the entrepreneurial class. And obviously once they relocate, tax revenues go down, not up.
In the US, the Obama administration wants to raise taxes on anyone making over $250,000, but that yardstick affects many self-employed entrepreneurs — the kind of innovators that often show up on ABC’s Shark Tank. Higher taxes will likely discourage productivity and disincentivize expansion and the hiring of more workers. And when taxes and fees get raised on businesses large and small, the costs are usually passed along to the customer anyway.
Erika Johnsen of HotAir.com writes that it should come as no surprise that Depardieu and others in his income bracket are jumping ship:
“As I would say ‘let this be a lesson for the United States,’ except that President Obama is already willfully following in Europe’s financially calamitous footsteps. Hiking taxes, and subsequently moving money out of the private sector and laundering it through the federal government, is not going to help us achieve the level of economic growth we so desperately need.”
France’s prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, according to EuroNews, isn’t at all pleased with high-profile French citizens running for the border:
“Those who are seeking exile abroad are not those who are scared of becoming poor, it’s because they want to get even richer. Let me tell you something: if we want to resolve the problem of poverty and social inequality we must make political choices.”
In the meantime, Depardieu has some unfinished business in France, the Telegraph explains:
“His decision to become a tax exile is unlikely to help his battered reputation back home. Last week he was arrested for drink driving after falling off his scooter in Paris, and he faces legal action for assault after a fight with a motorist in August. Last year, he sparked a scandal by urinating in the aisle of an aircraft en route for Dublin.”
Do you think that tax exiles are greedy?