Tax Authority: We've paid NIS 400m. in war damage claims to the North

The Tax Authority reported that until now 25,000 businesses in the North out of the 39,000 who sent in their compensation forms had been compensated in full.

damage katyusha 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
damage katyusha 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
After nearly a month to the end of the fighting in the North, the Israel Tax Authority has so far transferred a total of NIS 400 million paying out 10,000 direct and 25,000 indirect war damage claims to residents in the North for the month of July. The Tax Authority reported that until now 25,000 businesses in the North out of the 39,000 who sent in their compensation forms for indirect war damages had been compensated in full. In total NIS 350m. has been transferred for indirect war damages for the month of July. However, the Tax Authority previously estimated that 90,000 claims in total for indirect war damage to trade, services, industry, tourism and agriculture would be filed. During the month of August, the Tax Authority received 700 war damage claims from the hotel industry, which will begin to be paid out over the next couple of days. In addition over 10,000 direct war damage claims at a value of NIS 50m. have been paid out to residents in the North out of the total of 21,000 compensation claims received. Out of the 21,000 claims, about 17,000 were registered for damage caused to buildings, 3,000 for damage caused to cars and the rest for direct damage caused to agriculturists and personal equipment. Furthermore, the Tax Authority said that it was still taking care of about 100 families, who could not return to their damaged houses and hence 400 people were still placed in hotels until refurbishment was completed. Meanwhile Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson approved the request of Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini, to award employees in state services in the North, who worked during the fighting despite the security situation, with additional annual vacation days. Hirchson said that many people employed in vital establishments such as hospitals arrived to work despite the security situation. As such, an employee who worked between 7 and 10 days during the war will be entitled to one additional vacation day. Those who worked between 10 and 15 days will get 1.5 vacation days, those who worked 16 to 22 days during the fighting will be awarded two additional vacations days and those who worked more than 22 days will be entitled to three additional leave days. Separately, a fifth bracket was added to the August compensation arrangement to benefit small businesses, through a vote in the Finance Committee. Following the approval of the change proposed by MK Reuven Rivlin, businesses with up to NIS 750,000 in yearly turnover will be eligible to receive 75 percent of the difference between their business volumes in August 2006 and August 2005. According to the preexisting brackets, businesses with more than NIS 30m. of turnover will receive 45% of the difference; those with between NIS 10m. and NIS 30m. of annually turnover will receive 50%; those with between NIS 1.5m. and NIS 10m. will receive 55%; and businesses with up to NIS 1.5m. in yearly turnover - or businesses with between NIS 750,000 and NIS 1.5m., following the insertion of the lower bracket - are eligible to receive 65% of the difference in business between this past August and the same month last year. Daniel Kennemer contributed to this report