Thursday, February 15, heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem have decided to boycott the event with the participation of mayor NIR Barkat in connection with its decision to charge churches municipal tax («Arnon»). This is the correspondent of the Corporation of public broadcasting, «Kan» Akiva Weiss.
The heads of the churches stated that the decision of Barkat violates the age-old agreement between the churches in Jerusalem and the local government authorities.
«The state government has always recognized and respected the enormous contribution of the Christian churches, which has invested billions in the construction of schools, hospitals and homes for the elderly and needy people. We claim that this measure is destroying the Holy character of Jerusalem and compromise the ability of the Church to lead the service on this earth,» — said in a statement.
The heads of churches urged the mayor to cancel its decision and to ensure that the status quo will not be disturbed.
The decision to begin to charge the city tax with the UN agencies located in the Israeli capital, as well as with churches, it was announced on 1 February.
City hall hopes by imposing a tax 887 objects to 650 million shekels. Barkat said that it is time to put an end to someone who lived at the expense of the Jerusalemites.
We are not talking about taxing churches, as institutions of worship are exempt from municipal tax. The mayor is interested in objects belonging to churches that do not conduct services, and some of the objects used by the churches for commercial purposes.
Previously, the municipality has refrained from doing so at the request of the government in the framework of agreements with the representative of the foreign churches. The municipality appealed to the international lawyer Professor Gavriel Halevi, who came to the conclusion that there is no reason to exempt the Church from the municipal tax.