France's highest court has overturned the Socialist government's 75 percent income tax rate for the wealthy.
The Constitutional Council ruled Saturday that the upper tax rate on incomes above $1.32 million, set to go into effect next year, is unconstitutional because it represents a "breech of equality of taxes."
The decision is a huge blow to President Francois Hollande, who had made the 75 percent rate his flagship tax measure. However, the top tax rate would have been largely symbolic, affecting an estimated 1,500 people, and would have done little to reduce the budget deficit.
Earlier this month, renowned French actor Gerard Depardieu announced he would move to Belgium to seek tax exile status. The move confirmed opposition fears that the higher tax rate would trigger a mass exodus of the wealthy to other countries.