Yishai: Arnona reforms to benefit students, families

The income threshold for families eligible for arnona discounts will increase by 25 percent.

By NADAV SHEMER
December 28, 2011 03:42
1 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Eli Yishai 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Students, low-income earners and families with small children were the biggest beneficiaries of municipal tax reforms announced by Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Tuesday.

Under the reforms, which were based on the recommendations of a committee led by former ministry director-general Dov Kahat, the income threshold for families eligible for arnona discounts will increase by 25 percent.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Accredited nonprofit organizations and students living in dormitories will be granted an across-the-board 66% municipal tax reduction, while reserve soldiers will receive a 5% discount.

New considerations will be taken into account when calculating family concessions. Children under the age of five will be counted twice, and families with handicapped individuals will also be eligible for larger reductions. Payments to reserve soldiers, higher education tutorial costs and tax-free scholarships will be deducted from annual income when calculating concessions.

Yishai hailed the reforms as a response to the demands of this summer’s socioeconomic protest movement, saying they would benefit students, young couples, reserve soldiers and the poorer sectors of society.

National Union of Israeli Students chairman Itzik Shmuli also applauded the reforms, saying they would “be felt in the pocket of every student, allowing us to save thousands of shekels each year.”

However, Shahar Ilan, CEO of Hiddush-For Religious Freedom and Equality, said the reforms greatly favored yeshiva students and religious institutions, and constituted “a shameless robbery of the public purse.”



By increasing concessions to families with more children, and allowing yeshiva scholarships to be taken into account when calculating reductions, Yishai is essentially deciding that haredi municipal councils will collect less taxes, and that taxpayers from non-haredi municipalities will fund the deficit through balancing grants, Ilan said.

He added: “The time has come to free the Interior Ministry from his [Yishai’s] hands before he does further damage. The time has come to fix municipal tax concessions for wage-earners and not for those who evade work.”

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD