Tribune: “Nobody needs another foundation”

At first, Marlene Engelhorn just had “family money”; you, know, the kind you have when you’re a descendant of Friedrich Engelhorn, the man who started the German chemical company BASF. But when her grandmother passed away in 2022, she inherited €25 million.

Prior to the inheritance, she had already founded TaxMeNow, an initiative of wealthy people actively working for tax justice in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Frustrated that her inheritance wasn’t taxed (Austria eliminated its inheritance tax in 2008), she has chosen to give away the €25 million. A team of 50 individuals will decide what to do with the funds. The group was chosen through a statistical process to be representative of the overall Austrian population.

Engelhorn noted, “I’m just one brain, I’m just one person and so to me, this is a huge relief knowing that the process of redistribution is much more legitimate and thorough and democratic than I could ever do it. Nobody needs another foundation.”