Marlene Engelhorn has been fighting for years for a more equitable tax system in her country. A Citizens’ Council will be formed in Austria to decide on how to distribute the money.
A heiress in Austria will set up an assembly for citizens to give away the 25 million euro fortune she inherited.
Marlene Engelhorn, a 31-year-old woman from Austria, inherited the money from her family, who owns the chemical giant BASF. She wants her vast wealth to be redistributed across society and has campaigned for years for a more equitable tax system in her home country.
“€25 million can be redistributed because the state does not redistribute it. I have this money because it is not taxed. I have this money because the government has failed to fulfill 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 during a press conference Wednesday.
The heiress has been urging the government to impose taxes on that money for many years. However, given Austria’s absence of inheritance or wealth taxes, she sought an alternative solution: setting up a council to decide how the fortune would be distributed.
A Citizens’ Council comprising 50 individuals will be formed through a two-step process: 10,000 letters will be sent to residents, followed by the selection of 50 members and 15 substitutes. Eligibility requires members to be over 16 years old and representative of the population in Austria.
The Council “Guter Rat für Rückverteilung”, which means good advice for redistribution, will meet for six weekends from March until June and work on proposals to distribute the wealth.
Marlene Engelhorn will not have any influence on the distribution.