Sacked Vice Mayor Leads Council Tax Protest in Karmiel, Israel
Oren Milstein, recently sacked as vice mayor of the Israeli city of Karmiel following allegations of anti-Arab racism, is fighting a proposed hike in municipal property taxes likely to affect homes, businesses and factories by an average of four per cent.
He claims that local taxes are among the highest country-wide and the increase will boost the city’s coffers by 2.75M shekels.
Milstein, Opposition leader of the “My Home” group says this week’s Karmiel City Council meeting agreed to the steep rise in “the Arnona” while most other Israeli authorities have not followed suit.
Milstein, with colleagues, Eco Shoshi Ben-Arieh and Yoav China alleges that the increases are on top of another levy and are due to inefficiency at city hall. They have organised a protest petition but at time of writing have gained only 87 of 2,500 signatures required.
Properties affected will include private homes, shopping centres and offices in the city’s industrial area.
The proposed increases include:
Residential Homes - 3.65%
House with land – 3.9%
Office premises in the industrial zone area of up to 40 sq. m. - 4%
Shopping Centre Rabin Megadim Trade Centre - 4%
Industrial Enterprises - 4%
Any rise will have little affect on new immigrants who enjoy a large discount on municipal taxes for their first 12 months’ residency in Israel no matter where they live.