Austrian Heiress Marlene Engelhorn Is Giving Away $27 Million Fortune. Here’s Why
Ms Engelhorn inherited the wealth from her family, who owns the chemical giant BASF. An Austrian-German heiress has announced
An Austrian-German heiress has announced that she plans to give away her 25 million euros, or $27.4 million fortune that she inherited from her grandmother.
“I have this money because the government has failed to fulfil its mandate to ensure that wealth is distributed in society in such a way that it doesn’t end up unequally in my hands, just because I’m in this world in this particular family with this surname,” Marlene Engelhorn said in a German-language news conference.
Ms Engelhorn inherited the wealth from her family, who owns the chemical giant BASF. The 31-year-old heiress has been fighting for years for a more equitable tax system in Austria.
An Austro-German heiress is setting up a citizens group to decide how she should give away much of the fortune she inherited from her grandmother.
“If politicians don’t do their job & redistribute, then I have to redistribute my wealth myself.”
Marlene Engelhorn, take a bow. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/o7z9GBvFUL
— Tibor M. Kalman (@kalmantibs) January 10, 2024
According to Washington Post, the heiress co-founded Tax Me Now, in 2021. It is a collective of wealthy people of German-speaking countries, to address extreme inequality resulting from tax policies.
She revealed that heirs like herself, do not pay taxes on inheritances and thus give almost nothing of their wealth back to society.
“In Austria, the richest one per cent of the population hoards up to 50 per cent of the net wealth. This means that one-hundredth of society owns just under half of the wealth,” she wrote in a statement. “And 99 per cent of people have to make do with the other half.”
It is unclear how much of her fortune she will retain after giving away $27.4 million.
According to The Independent, Austria eliminated the inheritance tax, becoming one of the few European countries without such a tax or death duties.