Committee approves KKL-JNF revenue transfer

"The sums that KKL-JNF will pass to the state will allow the advancement of national projects," said Lapid.

November 2, 2014 21:13
1 minute read.

KKL-JNF Helps Chile Deal with the Gall Wasp Pest 758x530. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved a Finance Ministry proposal requiring the KKL-JNF to transfer revenues to the state, in accordance with the 2015 budget plan.

The plan, which the Finance Ministry installed to reduce the budget deficit, would put the KKL-JNF in charge of funding and carrying out relevant state projects, thus taking them off the government books.

In 2015, the transfer will amount to NIS 1 billion, and every year after, the amount will be set at 65 percent of KKL-JNF land sale revenues.

The bill would also threaten the organization’s tax exemptions in the event that it does not accede to the state’s demands.

“The proposal that passed today is a historic change,” said Finance Minister Yair Lapid. “The sums that KKLJNF will pass to the state will allow the advancement of national projects.”

The KKL-JNF slammed the move, which it said was illegal and anti-Zionist.

“The attempt to nationalize the KKL-JNF apparently relies on misrepresentations presented to the government and it will not pass,” the group said in a statement.

“The step taken looks like a populist move that we hope Knesset members, who are familiar with the work of the KKL-JNF around the country, will intervene to prevent this disgrace.”

Last week, the group decided to sever the organization’s relationship with the Israel Lands Authority and manage areas under its jurisdiction independently.

By deciding not to renew the “historic convention” between KKL-JNF and the government, the organization’s board of directors said on Thursday that the move will create a competitive market and lower housing prices.

The decision occurred after a failure of all efforts at dialogue with government representatives to stop the nationalization of KKL-JNF assets, according to the organization.

There will be an immediate cessation in the funding of about one-third of the ILA’s budget and a stoppage to marketing and management of KKL-JNF lands by the authority.

Sharon Udasin contributed to this report.

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