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Jun 29, 2014

Arnona hike in part of Bet Shemesh approved by city council

More on the Iryah meeting regarding the raising of arnona for part of Bet Shemesh while increasing the level of discounts for other parts of Bet Shemesh...

the vote on the issue was passed in the city council meeting.

Here is a recap of the city council meeting from one resident, Naava Pasternak Swirsky, who was there. It is written as notes from during the meeting (printed here with permission):
Iriya meeting - Gave up after an hour and a half. Here are a few highlights:
Eve Finkelstein tried to get into the meeting but was told that the public isn't allowed in. The public gets to watch the meeting on closed circuit tv. She gave out a flyer to people going in showing the campaign promises from Gimmel saying that when they are in the government people won't have to show paperwork to get their discounts on Arnona.
The feed cuts in and out. A lot of times the picture would freeze or disappear all together. It was difficult to hear what people were saying at times.Someone complained about the public representative on the Vaad Hachinuch's horrible joke about the kidnappings that he posted on Facebook. The Mayor said he didn't know anything about it. Someone else screamed out that they had e-mailed the mayor about it.
A new protocol about who gets hanachot was handed out at the beginning of the meeting. The opposition said it was illegal - it had to be given out at least a week before. Someone suggested that it be sent out by e-mail. One of the chareidi reps disagreed saying he doesn't have e-mail.
A raise in Arnona above what the government has set has to be approved by the Saar Hapniim.
They cannot retroactively raise the 2014 Arnona but they do want to raise the Arnona for 2015. In 2016 they want to make a special Arnona tax on anyone who has a "dirah" which is 160 meters or larger. This is expected to be on average an extra 1000 shekel once or even twice a year.
Richard Peres:
I don't know how you can do this in good conscience raise the Arnona on the vatikim and Gush Hatziyoni. You are reaching your hands into the vatikiims pockets.
Moshe Shitreet:
Why would you do something that will make the strong populations of Beit Shemesh leave the city? You are asking them to pay more and get less. Less money for the Tnuot Noar. Less money for sports.
Chaim Ben Margi:
I don't understand. There is no long term view in the new Arnona. There is no planning for the future. No thought have been given to the needs of new neighborhoods. It's just a cut and paste job of the previous budget.
And then the Mayor left the room as well as Baalayish. I don't know how a meeting continues without the mayor or the sgan -- that's when I had enough.

Shopping Mekomi, a local newspaper, has since reported that Mk Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) said that he was angered to hear the plan fo the mayor to raise arnona for just some people in the city, especially after giving out millions in discounts. He says he spoke with people in the Ministry of Interior and is committed to dealing with this at the level of the Knesset and at the level of the government, despite the city council approving the increase.

As well, and I do not know if this is related or not, Shopping Mekomi also reported that Yesh Atid activists have said that Minister Yair Lapid is seriously considering the issue of dividing Bet Shemesh. When asked, Lipman explained that he has discussed the issue with Lapid, and Lapid is considering it, but no decision has yet been made.

I must say, if the city council is going to do things like this which almost look like highway robbery, I think it is going to make the case for dividing Bet Shemesh much stronger. And I think the forces behind th movement will have a much easier time persuading Ministers int he government to support the idea when they have things like this to show them.

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  1. You guys should consider yourself lucky , here in Yerushalayim at 100 meters or if you have a car it becomes impossible to get a hanacha. Instead of splitting the city it would make more sense to allocate 50%of the arnona and stipulate that it can only be used in the neighborhood it came from I.e alef, bet .gimmel, or yashan.

  2. Lapid and Lipman should tread very lightly in this area. Taking (or advising) action against Beit Shemesh as punishment for a poorly-functioning municipal government will raise the question of why are they picking on this one place? Are there no other cities that are run badly? It can be seen as political revenge, and, by dealing with one place inequitably compared to other badly-run places, may be flirting with the line between legal and illegal.

  3. Wasn't it publicized tonight on the radio that most arnona discounts in all of BS are to non-Hareid neighbourhoods?

  4. Rafi, don't let yourself be taken in by the opposition's propaganda. The "increase" is actually rectifying (partially) an old injustice, where RBS pays 15% more Arnona than old Bet Shemesh, despite receiving a smaller portion of the municipal budget. This is not a "new Arnona tax", but simply anyone who can afford a "dirah" 160 meters or larger will be expected to pay the full rate, and will not receive the reduced rate that was being given out automatically in old Bet Shemesh until now. If the property owners cannot afford it, they will be entitled to apply for a discount just like every other resident of the city. If there is what to complain about, it is that they allowed the smaller apartments to keep the discounted rate, without offering a similar benefit to the RBS residents in the same situation.

    1. the discrepancy wasnt a discount. RBS paid a premium because, supposedly, of the new infrastructure of a new neighborhood.
      All I am saying is that if the city council is going to do things like this that look like giving their own people increased discounts while taking more money from the others to pay for it, the fight will only get worse.

  5. i thought that it was the minister of the interior who deals with these issues (arnona, dividing a city)

    1. I thought so as well, but perhaps:
      a. its not his decision alone. a decision to split the city would cost a lot of money and surely must involve the finance ministry among others I imagine.
      b: perhaps other members of government who have an opinion n the matter, one way or another, can still try to influence the decision of the Minister of Interior

  6. Abutbul and Co. are not doing very much to dispel the reputation of organized haredi leadership as free-loaders. 90% Discounts without paperwork (!!???!!!) while boosting the price for everyone else???


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