58% of Bat Yam residents oppose union with Tel Aviv

Coastal city's residents oppose bringing their city under the jurisdiction of their larger northern neighbor, poll finds.

November 5, 2014 20:15
1 minute read.

Israel Air Force planes fly over Tel Aviv. . (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

A poll released Wednesday found that 58% of the coastal city's residents oppose bringing their city under the jurisdiction of their larger northern neighbor Tel Aviv. A larger percentage, 64%, said they felt budgetarily disadvantaged in comparison to the start-up city.

The main reasons for opposing the union of the two cities were fear that it would result in a declining quality of life (23%), loss of independence and becoming a "tail" on Tel Aviv (17%), and concern that the foreign workers and migrants that inhabit south Tel Aviv would move to their area (11%).

The Smith Institute poll, which came out a day ahead of an Interior Minstry-led committee discussion on the topic of merging the cities, was conducted among 800 Bat yam residents aged 18 and above, and had a 3.5% margin of error.

The Interior Ministry is examining redrawing municipal lines around the country in order to help redistribute funds from struggling municipalities. Earlier in the year, it changed the designation of several IDF bases in the South to help funds flow to the local governments and help them build up their cities.

Bat Yam is seeking a NIS 250 million transfer of property tax that Tel Aviv collects from government institutions on its turf, but is hoping to avoid getting subsumed.

"You cannot unite a city where the majority of citizens are opposed to the matter," said Bat Yam mayor Yossi Bachar.

"Bat Yam is succeeding and had a revolution in the last decade in every municipal parameter, and we are determined to continue the revolution and demand an equitable share of the state resources," he added.

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