France to alter plans to raise taxes on ultra-rich

The French government

French President Francois Hollande, delivers a speech as he visits the Radiall engineering and coaxial connectors plant in Chateau-Renault, central France, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool )

PARIS (AP) -- The French government's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy is being radically scaled back after a second legal opinion said the proposed marginal rate of 75 percent was unfair.

France's highest court had already thrown out the 75-percent rate, and a high-level advisory council agreed. The Socialist government on Friday said that under the decision, the rate on those with incomes above 1 million euros ($1.3 million) could not exceed 60 percent.

French President Francois Hollande campaigned on a promise to impose the tax, despite criticism that it would do little to solve growing fiscal problems and would drive away the wealthiest citizens. The current top tax rate is 45 percent.

The government says it will introduce a new measure in response to the decision.

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