Tax Analysts Blog

Sacrebleu -- More French Taxes

Posted on Oct 31, 2012

It is bad enough that the French have a 75 percent top marginal tax rate. Now the Socialists in power want to raise the tax on beer. You would think beer is an easy target in wine swilling France. But the French make some well known beer -- Kronenburg and Fischer for example. The French will never be as good as the Germans or Belgians or Dutch or Canadians or Americans or Japanese or Czechs or Irish when it comes to beer. But some Frenchmen drink beer. And lots of beer brewers around the EU are upset. President Hollande wants to raise the tax on beer 160 percent. Such an excise tax may have a role to play in government. But not this one. Excise taxes should be used only to pay for externalities. But President Hollande wants to use the money for public services unrelated to alcohol use. It has nothing to do with externalities. It has everything to do with a money grab from beer drinkers. No wonder Jules Six Pack does not like the proposal. All excise taxes are bad. This one is worst than most. As the brewers pointed out, they are being singled out for higher taxes. Personally, I am glad I do not live in a country that taxes my income and beer heavily.

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