Jerusalem Garbage

Friday, 27 Tevet, 5776 Jerusalem – Chanoch Ne’eman (c)

For a week or so, garbage has piled up uncollected, or under-collected, in Jerusalem. The Mayor is asking the National Government for money to pay for collection. This must raise the question why Jerusalem fails to pay for its garbage collection on its own?

Jerusalem spent hundreds of millions of shekels on light festivals and other entertainment. Perhaps it should have made sure it first had enough money for garbage collection? Why should other Israelis pay for Jerusalem’s garbage collection? Is not Jerusalem the city of high rents and property values? Why should people living in less expensive places pay for our collection?

I think part of the answer is that Jerusalem allows about one third of the residents to be exempt from part or all of their municipal taxes, making the city relatively poor.

I propose two solutions to the problem. One, don’t exempt residents from city taxes. Make the tax a mandatory obligation of the apartment owner, be he Donald Trump or Shlomie the Beggar or Ahmed the driver. Then you would stop subsidizing slums in Jerusalem, those people who can’t afford to live here would move to places where they can really afford, and housing would be more affordable to those who are prepared to pay city taxes.

Two, as I said, don’t spend on entertainment if you don’t have the money to do it without begging for a $100 million from the National Government, as our Mayor is now doing.

May Hashem help us here in Jerusalem to act in a fiscally more responsible manner, Amen.

Image result for garbage truck

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