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France mulls 'culture tax' on devices like the iPhone


Reuters reports that France, in an effort to generate money to help fund cultural initiatives, is considering implementing a special tax on smartphones and tablets.

The proposal falls under France's "cultural exception" policy, enacted to ensure that the arts in France can continue to thrive in the face of competition and other market forces.

As it stands now, TV and radio broadcasters, along with internet service providers, are already subject to a tax to promote the arts in France. A report commissioned by the French government, however, points out that a tax on hardware manufacturers like Apple and Amazon would be even more helpful given that folks are now spending more on hardware than they are on content.

"Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators," Culture Minister Aurelie Filipetti told journalists.

French President Francois Hollande will reportedly decide by the end of July whether or not the proposed tax will go into effect. If Hollande gives it the green light, the plan, which Filipetti describes as "minimal," will be submitted as part of the budget in November.

Lastly, the Associated Press notes that the proposed tax plan would yield the French government about 86 million euros per year, or approximately US$111 million.

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