Religion Magazine

Proposed Law: New Tax on 3rd Apartment

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
MK Uri Maklev is against a proposal for a new tax on people who own 3 (or more) apartments. Maklev says he opposes it because it will mostly hurt avreichim.
I saw some notice about this and it made me go "huh?". How would such a tax hurt avreichim? Are avreichim commonly real estate moguls?
A bit of research led me to understand better what he is opposing and why. As part of a new tax plan being proposed by Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon, one aspect of it has a new tax on people who own 3 apartments.
Supposedly there are about 50,000 such people in Israel.
The owner will be given an opportunity to select which of the apartments should be considered his third. If he does not select one, the State will select a default on his behalf, supposedly the cheapest of the 3 apartments.
The finance Ministry officials also are promoting this as a boon to the housing crisis. they say that to avoid this tax people will sell those third or fourth apartments, thus creating more available supply in the housing market. Ergo, housing prices will come down a bit.
So, how does this hurt avreichim?
According to Maklev, this will more likely cause rental prices to go up, which will essentially hurt avreichim. the owners will absorb the taxes and raise the rental fees to cover them.
In addition, it seems that avreichim do invest in real estate, according to Maklev. Maklev says they choose to invest in real estate and get better and/or safer returns than regular investments. Many families choose to buy an additional apartment with their money that will go up in value.
Maklev says if the Finance Ministry wants to bring in more tax money they should do it by increasing the supply and build more houses rather than take the small money from its citizens who just want to marry off their kids respectably.
source: haredim10 and Kooker
I wonder if Maklev can produce actual numbers on how many of the 50k people owning 3 apartments or more in Israel are Haredim. I am curious if they are a majority, a minority, a significant minority, or if he is just making assumptions...
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