The Knesset Finance Committee on Wednesday approved the awarding of compensation to Sderot-region business owners for any "indirect damage" suffered as a result of the increase in Kassam rocket attacks over the last few weeks.
According to Boaz Sofer, deputy director of the Tax Authority, any business owner in the region who presents a claim stating that he has suffered a loss of revenue as a result of the current security situation, will be awarded the lowest of the following: 75 percent of the claim or 50% of the total revenue the business earned during the same time period in 2006.
Sofer added that the compensation package will only be available for those companies that take in less than NIS 2 million a year, on average.
Within 14 days of a filing of the claim, the business owner will be presented with the first compensation payment and within 90 days of the initial payment, explained Sofer, the Tax Authority director will determine if the business owner has filed an accurate claim reflecting the true extent of the damage suffered. If the director rejects the business owner's claim, the first payment may also represent the last.
Yehuda Nasradishi, director of the Tax Authority, added that next week the authority will publish a detailed list of how it will determine the exact compensation that should be awarded to business owners.
The Finance Committee stated that compensation would cover the period of May 16-31 and that business owners are expected to pay their worker's full salaries, regardless of the fact that they did not report to work. The committee rejected the proposal by finance committee chairman MK Stas Misezhnikov to award a special compensation to those workers who did report regularly to work throughout the duration of the attacks.
Misezhnikov noted, in closing the meeting, that he has accepted the request of Sderot mayor Eli Moyal to convene a special meeting of the committee to determine if Sderot businesses should be entitled to retroactive compensation since they have suffered continuously from Kassam attacks over the last seven years.