French Constitutional Council nixes carbon tax for being insufficiently tax-y
In response to a legal challenge by the Socialist Party, France's Constitutional Council -- their Supreme Court, as I understand it -- rejected Nicolas Sarkozy's carbon tax. Why? Because it "allowed for too many exemptions. The council, it seems, was was offended because the tax wouldn't apply to 93% of industrial emissions. In France, this is apparently enough to get your law thrown out, as it violates "the principle of tax equality."
But imagine that: In France, you can't have a carbon tax unless it's a really awesome carbon tax. The government is expected to present a revised carbon tax that falls more heavily on industrial polluters by January 20th.
Update: A read writes in:
Just a small note to inform you that your understanding that the Constitutional Council is France's Supreme Court is in fact incorrect.
The equivalents of the Supreme Court in France are the Conseil d'atat (for the administrative order) and the Cour de cassation (for the judicial order). (As you can see, France has two distinct jurisdictional orders.)
The Conseil constitutionnel is not in any way part of the administrative/judicial hierarchies of tribunals. It is a body that makes pronouncements on the constitutional validity of laws *before* they enacted.
Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images.
December 30, 2009; 4:33 PM ET
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