Ari Rabinovitch and Steven Scheer
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Many of Israel’s largest and wealthiest Cities went on strike over a plan to redistribute tax revenue, opening up a new opposition to a government already under pressure over controversial judicial reforms. The
strike resulted in millions of Israelis closing schools and stopping garbage collection, and also made it possible to pass the 2023-2023 state budget. If the budget is not passed by the end of the month, new elections must be called.
The dispute is about a proposed fund that would draw on business property taxes collected by municipalities. The fund will then be distributed nationwide as an incentive to build more residential properties.
The government says this will help ease the housing shortage and bring down costs that have soared in the past 15 years due to strong demand and limited supply. City Hall, which has yet to decide how long the strike will last, said it was an aggression against federal authorities and ultimately futile.
“We will fight for the rights of the residents,” said Haim Bibas, mayor of Modin in central Israel and president of the Federation of Local Authorities. “It is not our job to propose budgetary funds to address national crises.”
More than 15 cities, including commercial hubs Tel Aviv and Haifa, will move more Put the money into the property tax fund and join the strike. Israel’s largest city, Jerusalem, which relies heavily on state funding due to its relatively impoverished population, has failed to do so. 2023-2023 Part of the budget legislation.
“Unfortunately, some federal heads and mayors are fighting you, us and anyone who wants to lower housing costs,” Smotridge said on the news hours before the strike began Said at the press conference. Endless mass protests against proposed judicial reforms.
Tens of thousands of Israelis take to the streets every week to protest Netanyahu’s push to give politicians more power to influence judges’ choices, And limit the Supreme Court’s power to strike down legislation. Under domestic and foreign pressure, Netanyahu temporarily shelved.
Parliament has tentatively approved the 2023-2023 budget, but two more votes are needed.