Opposition Accuses Coalition of Bullying in Apartment Tax Vote

YERUSHALAYIM -

Opposition parties accused the coalition of employing illegal means in railroading a vote to approve a new tax on owners of three or more apartments and said they will take the case to Israel’s High Court.

MKs charged that a Finance Committee vote on the bill was rushed through without giving them any time to study the text. When their demand for another vote on the matter was rejected, they decided to seek legal intervention.

“The coalition’s bullying on the way to authorizing the budget has broken all records,” opposition coordinator MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Camp) said.

“In practicality, the MKs were asked to vote on a new draft of a bill, which was not officially submitted and they did not have time to study it … If the Finance Committee chairman does not understand the severity of the situation and the Knesset Speaker does not insist on fixing it, we have no choice but to go to the High Court to disqualify the process.

“We demand the speaker disqualify the legislative procedure in light of the Knesset’s legal adviser and the Finance Committee’s legal adviser’s conclusive opinion that the procedure was wrongful,” said the letter to Edelstein signed by MKs Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), Ahmad Tibi (Joint List), Osama Sa’adi (Joint List), Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Camp), Miki Rosenthal (Zionist Camp) and Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid).

Finance Committee chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni (UTJ) refused to redo the vote, in spite of an appeal from Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, saying that debate on the bill in committee had been adequate.