Knesset Puts Arnona Hike on Hold

YERUSHALAYIM -
MK Nissan Slomianski, chairman of the Finance Committee, in the Knesset on Tuesday. (Flash90)
MK Nissan Slomianski, chairman of the Finance Committee, in the Knesset on Tuesday. (Flash90)

A legislative measure likely to lead to major local property tax increases (arnona) was put on hold by the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday, Globes reported.

The committee was expected to approve the measure, which would grant ministers and municipalities more leeway in setting the arnona. But chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) decided at the last moment to postpone the discussion, at the request of Minister of the Interior Gideon Saar. Sources say that Slomiansky himself opposes the measure, which came from the Ministry of Finance.

The proposal, which takes the form of an amendment to the existing law, would allow municipalities to collect thousands of shekels in arnona for stairwells and parking spaces.

Prior to the scheduled discussion, Attorney Ilan Rubinstein, representing the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, argued that the proposal was illegal as it stands and that such a change in the system would require new 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.”