For the second year in a row, the Nes Ziona municipality has been rated as the country’s most stable. The ratings, by financial data company CofaceBdi, is an indication of the ability of a municipality to pay its debts based solely on the money it collects from fees, arnona (real estate taxes) and other taxes.
Nes Ziona collects 67.6 percent of its budget from its residents, with the rest provided by the government. That is not the highest percentage overall – numerous cities collect over 70 percent of their budgets from residents – but on a per capita basis, Nes Ziona collects more money per its 46,000 residents than other cities collect per capita, meaning that it could offer more services to residents in the event that the government failed to provide its share of funding. In addition, the city’s residents rated close to the top on the socio-economic scale, meaning that residents had the ability to pay their own way.
Behind Nes Ziona on the financial stability list were Herzliya, Ramat Hasharon, Holon and Petach Tikvah. The worst-performing cities – those at greatest risk of getting into financial trouble – were Haifa, Eilat, Kiryat Yam, Ramle and Teveria. All those cities were skewed toward the lower end in socio-economic levels, except for Haifa, where residents were more prosperous, but which scored lower because of higher debt.
According to the firm, “proper financial conduct of a municipality, the ability to collect money from residents, and correct management of budgets serves the residents of cities, providing them with better service.”