Reservists (illustrative)
Reservists (illustrative) Flash 90

Israel has seen a 26% increase from 2019 to 2020 in IDF reservists who exercised their right to a five percent property tax discount, the Zionist group Im Tirtzu revealed on Friday in their annual national IDF Reservists Appreciation Day report.

In February 2018, the Knesset passed a law granting municipalities the option to provide a five percent property tax discount to those serving in active IDF reserve duty.

The move was seen as a way to encourage and reward the small portion of Israelis who serve in reserve duty.

In October 2018, Im Tirtzu reported that despite the law, only 41% of the 257 municipalities in Israel offered this discount. The report prompted additional municipalities to offer the discount, and according to Im Tirtzu, now 167 of the 257 municipalities in Israel offer this discount. Of the 90 municipalities that don't offer this discount, the majority of their residents are not required to serve in the military.

Now, Im Tirtzu's new report revealed that more reservists are aware of their rights which has led to a 26% increase in 2020 of reservists who received the discount.

According to the report, the municipality with the highest percentage of reservists who exercised their rights to the discount was the Mount Hebron Reginal Council, followed by the Kedumim Local Council and the Emek HaMa'ayanot Regional Council.

Of municipalities with over 50,000 residents, the ones with the highest percentage of reservists were Rosh Ha'ayin, Tel Aviv and Ramle.

The report noted that despite the increase in discounts, the vast majority of municipalities do not hold special events or activities for reservists.

Alon Schvartzer, Im Tirtzu's Director of Policy, welcomed the increase in discounts but said that there is a lot more that still needs to be done.

"There is a lot more that still needs to be done for reservists who leave everything behind in order to defend the State of Israel," said Schvartzer.

"Municipalities should initiate activities in appreciation for the reservists, and the Defense Ministry along with the municipalities should automate the discount which would save the reservists from having to go through the exhausting bureaucratic process."

Schvartzer added: "Reservists are the very best of Israeli society, and they deserve this additional recognition."

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