Can anyone explain the following?
The Jpost carried an article regarding the imposition by the Mayor of Jerusalem of a "tax which the municipalities own legal experts say is likely against the law".
The proposed tax is for the upkeep of Jerusalem's roads. The problem with this however is that all Jerusalem residents already pay a tax, the Arnona, which is intended amongst other things to pay for the upkeep of Jerusalem's roads. Double taxation - wonderful!!
Did I say all Jerusalem Residents - slip of the tongue there I'm afraid. Approximately 60% of Jerusalem Residents pay full Arnona - the rest get reductions of up to 80% due to their low incomes - not the elderly mind you - their reduction is no longer automatic but is means tested. The population we're talking about is mainly able bodied Lupolianski voters who would certainly not be living in the 100 square metre apartments which would require payment of the tax.
Jerusalem has suffered a net loss of over 60,000 people in the last decade, the most commonly cited reason being the high cost of housing - so why not make living in Jerusalem even more expensive - good call Mr. Mayor.
For the proposal to have made it far enough to be publicised in the press however, it must be the case that not only did Lupolianski not spot the obvious fact that what he was proposing was a double tax (or not care) but that he doesn't surround himself with advisers who are bright enough to stop it.
And yet we are stupid. The reason why we, the Arnona paying public is stupid is because we sat on our arses whilst the Haredi public went out and voted for Uri Lupolianski in June 2003. Nir Barkat, his challenger and now the leader of the opposition, a man who seems to genuinely care about where Jerusalem is going and certainly in my mind a worthy candidate for Mayor, didn't get the job because people couldn't be bothered to go to the polls.
Come the next set of elections, the main challenge facing Barkat will be how to get a public, disillusioned by more wasted years under Lupolianski to get up of their arses. If the incumbent gets in again, we'll only have ourselves to blame.