The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights headed by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, gathered today for its fifth session, during which it will continue to hear suggestions and ideas from the public. So far, 1,900 citizens have approached the committee with ideas for proposals and recommendations to solve the problem of the high cost of living.
The following is a list of public appeals that repeated themselves over and over:
- applying a new tax bracket of 49% for salaries over NIS 75,000 a month
- raising taxes on cigarettes and cancelling the tax free status of cigarettes in duty-free stores
- raising arnona (local property tax) for unoccupied apartments
- raising tax on gas guzzling cars, such as jeeps
- stricter punishment for tax evasion
- cancelling the TV fee
- recognizing mortgages for tax purposes
The committee members read Lilach's petition out loud: "The state ended 2010 with a budget surplus, but we the citizens cannot finish the year with a surplus because we are financing the state's surplus."
"We must not touch VAT," said President of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce Uriel Lynn, as he repeated what he has called for in the past. He claims that reducing VAT by 1% or 2% will not help bring prices down significantly. Instead, Lynn recommends lowering gasoline excise by NIS 1 per liter and granting a VAT exemption to first time buyers of homes worth up to NIS 2,000,000.
Dr. Avi Nov, a tax specialist, argued during the session not to raise taxation of the wealthy. "Not only will raising taxation of the wealthy not do any good, it will even cause damage." Regarding real estate taxation, Nov said, "There are many distortions in real estate tax, but I suggest that the committee not touch real estate taxation, since it is complicated, and this issue should be left for others."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 28, 2011
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