The city of Herzliya has lost another important court case against residents refusing to pay fees and taxes for various reasons, reports local.co.il. In the latest case, the Supreme Court has decided that the city cannot charge residents retroactively for work done to their street. The loss is the latest in a series of defeats for the city in court cases against residents.
According to the report, in the latest case, the city sued a group of six apartment owners on Rehov Shimoni after they refused to pay "development fees" for paving work done to the sidewalk and road. The residents claimed that the work had been done before they bought their properties. A judge in the magistrate's court agreed with the residents, saying the city should have charged the builder for the paving work when it was done in 1998, and not charged the residents retroactively.
The city appealed to the district court, which decided in its favor. But the residents then appealed to the Supreme Court, headed by justices Elyakim Rubinstein and Edna Arbel, which decided that not only are the residents justified, but the city should pay NIS 20,000 in legal costs.
A lawyer for the residents said they could not understand why the city had chosen to fight them in court and not been willing to discuss a compromise with them. He also said residents did not know why the city had not charged the builder at the time the work was carried out.
"It would be very correct and justified if residents of Herzliya who have paid fees in similar situations now sued to get their money back," the lawyer said.
The defeat follows a series of losses for the city in other court cases. In one case a few weeks ago, the city lost its demand to make the residents of Rehov Pinsker pay the full cost of repaving the street, instead of just 25 percent of the cost. A court found in favor of the residents and fined the city NIS 30,000. The city also lost a similar case against residents of the Neveh Amal area.
A municipal spokesman said the city "invests a great deal" in infrastructure and was "sorrowful" that some residents were refusing to pay fees. The spokesman said the city was now considering appeals against the Rehov Pinsker and Neveh Amal decisions, and was considering its "next steps" against the Rehov Shimoni decision.
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