The federal election is approaching and with it a well-known reflex: According to some politicians, it should - once again - regulate tax increases.

An expert opinion commissioned by the Left Party is intended to fuel the discussion about a property levy.

The client's reasoning makes one sit up and take notice: In the crisis the rich supposedly got even richer.

Therefore, wealthy people should pay an additional 338 to 560 billion euros to the tax authorities over the next 20 years.

In their basic program, the Greens also advocate a higher burden on assets;

likewise the SPD.

All of these suggestions have one thing in common: They would primarily affect family entrepreneurs, since in Germany a large proportion of assets are tied up in machines, systems and patents.

Wealth taxation would worsen the position of family businesses.

Instead of digging ideas out of the moth box, politics should direct all efforts to create favorable conditions for investment and jobs.

New pressures cause the exact opposite.


The assumption that family businesses will benefit from the crisis is completely absurd.

Many are fighting for their existence.

State crisis aid can, if at all, only partially replace lost sales.

In addition, government support is not a gift.

According to its own account, the Federal Ministry of Economics allocated around 71 billion euros to corona aid for companies by November 2020.

More than half of the aid is provided by the KfW state bank.

High interest rates for KfW loans

These loans have to be repaid with high interest rates.

A new study by the Family Businesses Foundation shows that just eleven percent of family businesses have taken out KfW loans.

A larger part of the companies use the short-time work allowance, but the employers co-financed this through their contributions.

After all, it also benefits the employees.

It would therefore be absurd to assume that family businesses are capitalizing on the crisis.

Incidentally, this does not apply to the November and December aid either, because these are compensation for state-ordered closures.

The reality is: Family businesses need their reserves or take out shareholder loans in order to survive these difficult times.


Above all, wealth taxation would put family businesses at a considerable disadvantage - that is 90 percent of the 3.3 million businesses in Germany.

Anyone who wants to tax them even more heavily accepts unforeseeable economic damage.

In the past two decades, many industrialized countries have abolished their wealth taxes.

Apart from Spain, which revived the tax during the financial crisis, no country introduced wealth taxation.

Proponents should consider this as well as the fact that Germany is already a top tax country for family businesses.

Doubling the tax burden

The property tax would be added to the previous taxes.

An example of a family business with a return of three percent: If wealth taxation of one percent per year were decided, this would double the current tax burden.

This is the result of the SPD parliamentary group in 2014.

If there are no profits, the wealth tax must be paid from the substance.

It would be one of the biggest tax hikes in the post-war period.


In the above-mentioned report it is proposed that companies which cannot raise the property levy should surrender shares to the state.

This reveals the real intentions.

30 years after German reunification, the era of state capitalism should be over once and for all.

Rainer Kirchdörfer is director of the Family Business Foundation