Horseback protesters urge France: No new taxes

December 23, 2013 - 3:05 PM
France Horse Protest

A demonstrator, wearing a t-shirt reading "No to the VAT (Value Added Tax )" stands alongside a pony during a demonstration against the increase in VAT for horse riding lessons in Paris, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Riding enthusiasts protested against a sales tax increase they say will make riding lessons too expensive and force many schools to close. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

PARIS (AP) — Horse riders and trainers are demonstrating against a plan to nearly triple the tax on riding schools in France.

Enthusiasts fear the higher tax will make lessons too expensive, and force many schools to close. And they worry it will further chip away at rural traditions already struggling in a stagnant economy.

France is set to raise the tax as of January to adhere to EU regulations. The move has drawn demonstrations, in a season when many people are protesting President Francois Hollande's handling of the economy.

On Monday, protesters and their horses marched on the Finance Ministry in Paris, and staged a protest in Brussels as well as some other cities.