France, a nation where many spend their free time visiting museums and attending art events, wants to tax smartphone and tablet manufacturers, specifically Apple, to fund its cultural passions.

Expected to go before parliament in the fall, the proposal, limited to 1 percent to 4 percent of the sale price, would be slapped on Apple's iPhones and iPads, as well as Android tablets and Amazon's Kindle Fire devices and their competitors.

The proposal was laid down by a nine-member panel led by businessman Pierre Lescure, tasked by President François Hollande to find ways of funding the arts. The group said taxing the sale of smartphones and tablets could generate much-needed revenues for the government since consumers now spend more on hardware than on content.