About 100 small business owners in lower Haifa have launched a joint protest against municipal tax rates, saying they are paying higher rates than the more successful businesses in the city's shopping malls and commercial centers, reports Yediot Haifa. A representative of the group said that in addition to the unfair tax rates, the businesses were being further harmed by the ongoing street renovations in their area. The spokesman said they wanted to fight this "absurd distortion" and obtain some relief from the tax burden. According to the report, the businesses are being supported by councilor Miki Yanovitch, who says they should rebel against the level of taxes being imposed on them. Yanovitch says businesses in lower Haifa are incurring taxes of NIS 252 per square meter, compared to just NIS 158 per square meter for businesses in the shopping malls. But a spokesman for the Grand Canyon shopping mall said it was not possible to raise the rates in the malls, with businesses there already incurring other high expenses. Councilor Shlomo Gelbhart said the city's entire tax system should change to the system used in other countries, in which taxes are progressive and in line with a business's earnings. A municipal spokesman said the city would ask the Interior Ministry to approve discounts for businesses harmed by the street repairs.