Rich French to Sarkozy: Please Tax Us More

Billionaires urge Sarko to plug budget holes with their cash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2011 4:20 AM CDT
Rich French: Oui, Oui, Tax Us More
French billionaire Lilianne Bettencourt is leading the call for higher taxes on France's richest citizens.   (Getty Images)

As Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to unveil deep budget cuts, some of his country's richest citizens are asking him to take more of their money. Billionaire L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and 15 others have signed a petition urging the government to hit France's wealthiest people with a "reasonable" one-off special tax, reports the Wall Street Journal. Sarkozy, seeking to keep the country's triple-A credit rating, is searching for ways to plug huge budget holes without breaking his campaign promise to not raise taxes.

"We are aware that we have benefited fully from a French model and European environment to which we are attached and that we want to help to preserve,” the petition states. “At a time when the public deficit and the prospect of an aggravation of public debt threaten the future of France and Europe, it seems necessary that we contribute." American billionaire Warren Buffett recently made a similar plea for higher taxes, observing that he pays the lowest tax rate of anybody in his office. (Read more Liliane Bettencourt stories.)

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