Jerusalem Councilwoman Working to Eliminate Arnona Tax Deductions


In a clear move against chareidim in Yerushalayim, Councilwoman Meirav Cohen has sent a letter to the Ministries of the Interior and Finance demanding the immediate elimination of automatic deductions in arnona property tax for low-income families, aware these deductions are the difference between surviving and not for many chareidi families in the capital.

Cohen is opposed to granting automatic reductions in tax, warning it will negatively impact the city’s financial status. She feels the criteria of one’s earning potential may not be ignored, a criteria defined by the national government, and it should be calculated into considering one’s eligibility for a tax deduction in the capital as well. She feels that since this is already calculated by the national government, the local government may rely on this and Jerusalem City Hall needn’t hire employees to make this determination.

Needless to say chareidi councilmen in Jerusalem City Hall are adamantly opposed to such a plan.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. The article incorrectly implies the property tax credit for lower income families is targeted towards Chareidim. In theory, the lower tax rate is available to chilonim and chareidim on an equal basis. In practice, the large percentage of the poor are Chareidi so it does favor them. The article also suggests the issue is one of “survival” for these Chareidi families which is also not the case. The property tax rate should be the same for EVERYONE, regardless of income. If you cannot afford to own property and pay the taxes, than you should be renting, whether you are frum or frei.

  2. Mrs Cohen. I agree with your view: “one’s earning potential may not be ignored”. I think that a talented person like you could be earning 50,000 shekel a month if you went into the private sector. I invite you to set an example, to pay tax & bituach leumi on 50,000 shekel even though you may only now earn 20,000 shekel a month. Once you practice what you preach then come back to us & tell us what you think we should be doing !!!

  3. I think she might be onto something. The way the system works now is that anyone making money pays the taxes of the people with low income. They pay for those people’s use of roads, garbage disposal street lighting, parks and so on. I’m charedi myself and for tzeddakah, but not forced tzeddakah!

  4. Mr. Lebidik. There are many Yidden living in Eretz Yisroel who have low incomes. They may be learning Torah. They may be melamdim and not CPAs. They may be employed as kindergarten mitaplot teaching Jewish children and their husbands may be learning in Kollelim. Maybe both parents are working and there are many children in a family. Maybe the father is working and the mother is home looking after an ill parent. The list is endless. Would you like all these sweet Yidden to stay at home and not use the public roads, not have their garbage collected, to be banned from parks and walk outside only in daylight so they won’t use streetlights paid by taxpayers? Perhaps they should take lanterns with them to daven Maariv? Dear Jew. We pay taxes like everyone else. Its just our lifestyle that is a little different from those who have either high incomes or a wealthy father in law.