Israel's Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman convened his first press conference today since taking office to discuss the Economic Arrangements bill, which will accompany the state budget through the Knesset.
One of the most controversial clauses in the bill is the proposed congestion charge for cars traveling in the Tel Aviv metropolitan region during the morning and evening rush hours.
But answering questions on the plan, Liberman said that there was no contradiction between his assertion that there would be no new taxes and the proposed congestion charge, which would be promoted in order to deter cars in favor of public transport rather than to fill the Treasury's coffers. He also made it clear that he would not be fighting for its implementation.
Liberman said, "Regarding the congestion charge, we have not come to replace other ministries. If the Ministry of Transport supports it, we will move ahead with it, and if not then we won't. I don't plan building an empire that replaces other ministries.
The bill proposes that a graduated fee be charged in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan region during weekdays with the charge collected electronically through cameras as on Road 6 and the Tel Aviv fast lane. The Tel Aviv Metropolitan region will be divided into three fee zones - central Tel Aviv, and inner and outer rings.
Drivers on the outer zone between 6.30 am and 10 am will be charged NIS 5 for driving in the outer ring and NIS 10 for traveling in each of the outer ring and central Tel Aviv. Between 3 pm and 7 pm, drivers will be charged NIS 2.50 in the outer zone and NIS 5 in each of the inner zone and central Tel Aviv. Thus the maximum fee payable in one day will be NIS 37.50 and there will be discounts for drivers with subscriptions. Buses, taxis, emergency and some service vehicles will be exempt from the charge.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 13, 2021
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