Art galleries in plea to avert tax on works of art
Leading art galleries have weighed in against a move to extend wealth tax to art, complaining in a letter to the government that such a move could drive historic collections out of France.
The daily Libération has printed an excerpt from a letter signed by the heads of the Louvre, Versailles, the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Centre and others and sent to the culture minister and president François Hollande, saying the tax would crush the art world.
“There’s a risk that France will contribute to the disappearance of historic collections that have been passed down through the generations,” Libération quoted the letter as saying. It was written on Friday and was also signed by several city mayors.
Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault appeared to sound the death knell yesterday for the push for art works worth over €50,000 (£40,000) to be included in assets used to calculate a person’s fortune, saying the Socialist government opposed it.
“Artworks will not be included in the calculation of wealth tax. That’s the government’s position,” he told Europe 1 radio.
But budget minister Jerome Cahuzac cautioned that the proposal was not buried yet.
“We will have a frank discussion with the Socialist group. It is possible for a government to be beaten by its parliamentary majority,” he said.
Currently, only assets such as property or cash savings count towards wealth tax in France. Net assets of more than €1.3 million are taxed at 0.25 per cent on top of income tax, and the rate doubles to 0.5 per cent for assets above €3 million.
France has spared works of art from the wealth tax ever since former president François Mitterrand first introduced the levy in 1982.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North