Mississippi Attractive Option for French Millionaires After New Tax Proposal

Haley Barbour. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Have French taxpayers become the people to seduce since May? After British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he would “roll out the red carpet” for French businesses, Republican Governor of Mississippi from 2004-2012, Haley Barbour, has invited “French overtaxed millionaires to come to Mississippi.”

In an article published on the website of Foreign Policy magazine, Barbour said that “as a state with low taxes and that is pro-business, we can unroll the red carpet and raise the French flag at Fort Maurepas, the first French colony in Mississippi.”

“I have an old Huguenot name, and my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Louis Le Fleur, a Frenchman, founded a trading post in 1800 that has developed in Jackson, the capital of Mississippi… I wonder if we, the Barbours, should not start a business to attract the rich French to Mississippi,” said the Governor, before concluding in French, “Bienvenue mes amis!”

While the bill amending the 2012 budget was passed in early June, the government is preparing to implement fiscal reforms for 2013 including the iconic tax of 75% for those with incomes exceeding €1 million.

The number of French tax exiles is difficult to determine, but several experts said it could amount to several thousand, or even several tens of thousands, of people.

Some observers say the arrival of the Left to power will cause the departure of the richest French people, but no statistics can confirm or deny this theory. And it is already long after the wave of departure following the election of François Mitterand in 1981.

Last June, the Labor Minister, Michel Sapin, had already responded humorously to David Cameron’s invitation to the high-income French to come to England: “I do not know how you would roll a red carpet across the English Channel.”

Maybe Haley Barbour has since found a new solution across the Atlantic.


  1. […] Additionally several wealthy French citizens have considered leaving the country. Both British Prime Minister David Cameron and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have invited France’s wealthiest to relocate. […]

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