Marlene Engelhorn, 30, recently inherited the assets of BASF, the world's largest chemical concern, and is demanding that her inheritance be heavily taxed, according to the Daily Mail, citing a publication in The New York Times.
The Engelhorns' main asset is BASF, a company founded by their ancestor back in 1865. According to Forbes, the current fortune of the family is 4.2 billion dollars. Marlene inherited from her grandmother, Traudl Engelhorn-Veciatto, who died in September of this year at the age of 94 and left her granddaughter billions in tax-free inheritance. Which, according to Marlene, "irritates" her very much. The young woman pledged to give 90% of her inheritance to the state, hoping that the money would be distributed in a more equitable manner. “No one should have that much untaxed money and power”, - she says.
From the very beginning, Marlene knew that one day she would inherit a huge fortune. She has spent the past ten years campaigning for a tax overhaul, demanding that wealth like hers be taxed accordingly. Marlene is one of the co-founders of Tax Me Now, a group of wealthy Germans fighting to raise taxes on their income.
According to Engelhorn, having learned about her activities from the media, many people turned to her asking for financial assistance. However, she refused everyone, since the issue of redistribution of wealth, in her opinion, requires a change in the system at the state level. “I am a product of an unequal society,” says Marlene. “Otherwise, I would not have been born into a family with millions. All my merit is that I was born in it, and nothing more. The wealth of the world's wealthiest 1% is not just big numbers, it is expressed in power over politics, the economy, the media and society. This power is disproportionately great. In a democratic society, solidarity touches everyone, and wealth strikes at the very heart of democracy”.
Marlene grew up in Vienna and, by her own admission, as a child was very surprised that her classmates lived in small apartments, and not in a mansion with a garden, like her. “Privileges give you a very, very narrow view of the world,” she says. The Engelhorn family has always generously donated to various charitable causes in the field of science and art. However, Marlene this seems insufficient. In Austria, where she still lives, the inheritance tax was abolished in 2008. Marlene wants him back and to be taller, as it's not fair for wealthy people not to contribute to the cause. “Wealth taxes are the least we can do. Tax us”, - she says.