'Instead of tax on third apartment - subsidy for first one'

Jewish Home MK says tax on third apartment is latest failed attempt to address housing crisis - and he has alternatives.

Benny Toker ,

MK Motti Yogev
MK Motti Yogev
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) addressed the High Court's decision to cancel the law imposing a tax on rental income for property owners with three or more housing units in Israel. "I do not like the High Court's intervention in Knesset legislation, and it should have returned the matter to the Knesset for debate, but in this case it acted gently.”

According to him, the law of taxation on a third apartment in its present form was not appropriate. "The law would have been correct only if it had graded differentially, as all taxation in Israel does, and had not treated equally the owner of an apartment worth one million shekels that he purchased for pension or for his sons to one who owns 3 or more apartments worth many millions. All taxation needs to be differential rather than automatic.”

MK Yogev instead believes that the solution to the housing crisis is direct assistance to young people and a reduction in the equity needed to buy a first apartment. "I think that the methods used thus far, like zero VAT (value added tax) or lottery, are not systematic and not efficient enough. I would prefer that, instead of money being invested for discounts on land or for lottery or for zero VAT, this money should be systematically given to every family in Israel as a subsidy for their first apartment. This is the main problem for young couples and families in Israel, that they’re paying thousands of shekels their whole lives to apartment owners instead of using those thousands of shekels for paying off a mortgage which will allow them to own their own apartment in 20 years which they can pass on to their children.”

“Therefore, the solution is to invest three to four billion shekels in subsidies for young couples, 30,000 shekels each, and a priority of 1,000 shekels for each month of service in the army or national service, together with reducing the need for personal equity from 30 percent to 20-25 percent. This will enable more couples and families to have the personal equity needed to buy an apartment and, of course, a large supply of construction will lead to a reality in which many more families in Israel will have their own apartment.”