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Beit Shemesh Earns a High Rating in Study of Arnona Property Tax

bshWhile many residents of Beit Shemesh were angered over the increase in annual arnona property tax, a Yediot Achronot poll shows the city ranks second among cities that did not increase the tax. Councilman Mordechai Derenfeld was among those opposed to the increase, and as a result, Mayor Moshe Abutbul removed him from his responsibility of overseeing the finance portfolio in City Hall.

Despite the outcry, the Yediot Poll study ranks Beit Shemesh second among cities with low arnona increases in recent years. Mayor Abutbul uses the poll to show opponents that are simply trying to stir the opposition against him with just cause. The study was conducted by cofaceBDi examining 31 cities in Israel. The study reveals in Ramle arnona was increased more than 20% for residences from 2009-2013 while in Beit Shemesh the increase as an accumulative 5%, remaining lower than the national rate of inflation. Arnona for residences around Israel has increased about 11% from 2009-2013 while the inflation rate during the same period was 8.5%.

The most significant increases were not necessarily in the cities ranked in the higher socioeconomic class. Hod HaSharon and Kiryat Gat are in second place with an accumulative increase of 16.9% followed by Ra’anana (16.8%), Beersheva (16.3%), Beit Shemesh, Rishon L’tzion and Yerushalayim (8.3%), Ashkelon (8.4%) and Lod (8.7%).

The study also compared prices in arnona for commercial properties, revealing an average increase of 12%, once again surpassing the rate of inflation. Beit Shemesh leads in this category with an increase of 5%. The largest increase was in Haifa with a staggering 43%. Other cities with significant increases for commercial properties include Tel Aviv (29%), Hod HaSharon (25%), Givatayim and Kiryat Gat (24%).

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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