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Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) will face state elections in October

Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

Now the judges in Karlsruhe have to decide: The Bavarian state government has filed its constitutional lawsuit against inheritance tax, which has been threatened again and again for months, with the Federal Constitutional Court. "From now on, it is in the hands of the court to evaluate and hopefully close the widening gap between stagnant allowances and drastically rising real estate prices," said Bavaria's Finance Minister Albert Füracker (CSU) of the German Press Agency in Munich. According to the information, the lawsuit had already been filed on Friday.

The motion is intended to open the way for an increase in personal allowances, a reduction in tax rates and a regionalization of inheritance tax by means of a constitutional review of the law. The allowances for inheritance tax have not been increased since 2008. In contrast, according to Bavaria's criticism, inflation as well as land and real estate prices have risen massively.

Desire for sovereign sovereignty

"We have tried many times to convince the federal government to increase the allowances for inheritance tax – we are always given the cold shoulder. Therefore, Bavaria had no choice but to sue," said Füracker. The inheritance tax is due in full to the states, so they should decide on the design. "Bavaria's lawsuit is aimed at regionalizing inheritance tax – for lower tax rates and higher allowances. Everyone must be able to inherit their parents' house without inheritance tax forcing them to sell. We are threatened with the sell-out of our homeland.«

Bavaria also complains about the tax that the value of land has developed very differently nationwide and that the heirs in Bavaria are disadvantaged as a result, as higher taxes are incurred here. Nationwide allowances and tax rates are unfair and do not do justice to regional conditions.

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In this context, Füracker renewed his massive criticism of Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), who had rejected the Bavarian push to increase the allowances in the spring of 2022 and said that it was "not on the agenda". At the same time, hidden in a 150-page draft law, new rules for real estate valuation were introduced, which lead to significantly higher inheritance taxes," says Füracker.

Lindner accuses CSU of election campaign maneuvers

Lindner himself, on the other hand, had accused the CSU of a transparent election campaign maneuver with the lawsuit. The federal government could not – as claimed by Söder and other representatives of the state government – "single-handedly decide on the loss of tax revenues that belong solely to the states. Such an initiative must therefore come from the majority of countries." Representatives of other parties also see Bavaria's current lawsuit as an election campaign maneuver. Just a few days ago, the Free State, like the CSU, filed a lawsuit in Karlsruhe against the new electoral law for the Bundestag. In Bavaria, a new state parliament will be elected on 8 October.

Füracker does not accept Lindner's criticism: "We are talking about a federal law, the Federal Minister of Finance and his party can act at any time. Instead of finally creating facts, only the countries are referred to – that borders on refusal to work.«