Small independent booksellers in France are concerned that the recent rise in VAT on books to seven per cent from 5.5 percent may drive them out of business. France is known for its independent booksellers that offer the best of both worlds — one-on-one service and a comfortable setting where you can browse the shelves, and guaranteed prices as low as at chain stores. That may change soon however. The additional revenues from the “book tax” are estimated at $78 million at most but the effect for small bookstores, which operate on a slim profit margin, could be disastrous.
It remains to be seen what the future holds. With the French presidential campaign in full swing the plight of the booksellers has turned political with current president Sarkozy’s Socialist rival Francois Hollande vowing to repeal the hike.