Finance Ministry Plans Break for (Some) New Homebuyers

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The Finance Ministry is developing a proposal to make buying an apartment easier for young Israelis — as long as they have served in the military, Globes reports.

The proposal is that a couple with at least one child buying their first new apartment will be exempt from paying the so-called Value Added Tax, the equivalent of an 18% discount.

The tax exemption comes with conditions, however. Notably, that at least one of the couple served in the IDF, a provision aimed at excluding chareidim and Arabs. Some Knesset members have said they will vote against any bill with such a condition, and that they doubt it will stand up in court in any case.

In addition, at least one of the couple must be working; the couple must reside in Israel; the price will not exceed the average price for each region; and if the apartment is sold within five years of the purchase, the benefit will immediately be repaid.

Although senior Ministry officials are said to be against it, Finance Minister Yair Lapid is behind it, and the proposal is slated to move forward as a legislative bill in the coming months.

It is expected that the initiative will later be broadened to apply to second-hand homes, because of the reduced demand for such homes by young couples.