Knesset Finance Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi) decided at the last moment to postpone today's discussion to approve an amendment, which would have sharply raised arnona (local property tax). The Finance Committee was due to approve an amendment to allow municipalities to change the method for calculating arnona, which is set in municipal tax directives, and which have not been amended since 1985.
The discussion that was scheduled for today is part of a government decision from May 2013 to make the budgets of local authorities more stable. The legislative amendment will allow municipalities to collect thousands of shekels in arnona for stairwells and parking spaces.
At the last moment, Slomiansky postponed the discussion at the request of Minister of the Interior Gideon Sa'ar. Sources inform ''Globes'' that that Slomiansky opposes the Ministry of Finance's proposal.
Before the discussion, Adv. Ilan Rubinstein, who represents the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, said that the proposal was illegal and required legislation. "It means an arnona hike of 15-25%. Allowing the possibility of levying a sweeping new arnona on all assets in municipalities through a new method of measurement that will tax spaces which were never before taxed is something that must be done through primary legislation so that it will be raised for public debate, and all MKs can express their opinions, as required in the case of the creation of a new tax liability."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 7, 2014
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