Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich has announced that the range within which businesses will receive enlarged compensation has been doubled from 20 kilometers to 40 kilometers, as part of the Ministry of Finance's plan.
Smotrich's announcement, which it is estimated will cost billions of shekels more, took some of the Ministry of Finance's senior officials by surprise. At the start of discussions today about the compensation plan in the Knesset Finance Committee, one of Smotrich's advisors said, "The Minister of Finance spoke a few minutes ago with the mayors of Beersheva and Ashdod. The Property Tax regulations that we will bring here in the committee in the coming days will apply from 7 kilometers to 40 kilometers. We will create legal solutions for this matter, there is complexity and we have to see how it is solved."
In the presentation given by the Ministry of Finance during the Finance Committee discussions, it was stated that the range of compensation would be only up to 20 kilometers. This illustrates that the changes were made at the last minute. This decision was not even included in the internal summaries of the Ministry of Finance, which were prepared for the Finance Committee discussion.
In previous military operations, the compensation range was up to 40 kilometers from the fence. In contrast to the past, in the current war, the compensation plan includes some assistance to all businesses throughout the country whose incomes were significantly affected. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance initially wanted to keep the full compensation range at only seven kilometers and after many reviews, was convinced to offer an enlarged range of up to 20 kilometers. However, this still left out cities like Ashdod and Beersheva, which in smaller operations received full refunds for lost revenue.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 5, 2023.
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