Monday, April 18, 2005

Do we look stupid Mr Lupolianski?

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.



Safranit said...

Thank you!!!! I wish more people would see this....I voted for Barkat and if I haven't fled the city by the next election, I will vote for him again!

Harry said...

What will it take for the people of J-town to wake up from the Lupolianski disaster? We left J-town long ago due to the outrageous housing prices and the inflated arnona. I had enough of bearing the tax brunt of a population that reaps the benefits of the city but gives nothing. Let Lupolianski continue down this path of destruction, it will only make Barkat's victory an easier one. Thats if of course, the apathetic Jerusalemites gets off their asses and vote. Althought I was no longer a resident of Jerusalem, I still volunteered for Barkat's campaign. It was that important to me. I had a unbelievable amount of friends who foolishly voted for Lupy thinking that J-town needed a religious mayor. For shame! J-town needs a leader who will stop the decay, the outrageous spending (was a one million shekel shabbos clock really needed?) and won't be controlled by a segment of the population that doesn't pay taxes. Barkat has a plan and has proved himself as head of the opposition and threw iniatives like start up Jerusalem that he has what it takes to take J-town to the next level!

muse said...

If you want population, then it's the chareidim that give you high density population, with their large families. Their kids are moving into the "suburbs." That's because they can't afford the housing costs.
There are also lots of elderly, who pay reduced rates, in the better neighborhoods.
Your population complaint is about sociological patterns that have nothing to do with the mayor.
Taxes were outrageous also during Olmert's and Teddy's times.

Gilly said...

Muse - the Hareidi community raise the cost of living in Jerusalem. If they don't pay their Arnona then someone else has to pick up the tab. If their children move out because they can't afford Jerusalem then they won't be giving us high density in 10 - 15 years time - alternatives must be sought to stop the flight of all Jerusalemites - whether hareidi, kippa sruga or secular.

The elderly living in good neighbourhoods (or bad ones for that matter) no longer get an automatic reduction - it's means tested - anyone with even a fairly decent standard of living pays the full rate.

Yes, Olmert wasn't any better - that doesn't mean Lupolianski is doing a good job! Now that there appears to be a decent candidate on the scene lets give him the chance to improve things.

Harry said...

Olmert was a disaster as well. He spent more time abroad than he did in Jerusalem (Not counting Yad Sarah). Lupolianski has cut a tremendous amount out of the cultural budget of Jerusalem and he essentially a puppet of his money man Pollack. I challenge you to come up with three positive things that Lupy has done for Jerusalem.

And it's not the haredi kids who are moving out - its the tax paying kippah srguga and secular folks who are. This is costing the city millions and millions of dollars. When they move out, its not just their tax money the city is losing out on - its the money that they spend on transportation, food and entertainment. Millions and millions of shekels every year. Jerusalem needs some CPR - and fast!

Anonymous said...

well, if *someones* brother wasn't getting married abroad at election time MR Barkat would've got another couple of votes!

Yellow Boy