Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has initiated a change in the handling of the collection of the arnona (local property tax) for students who share apartments in the city, in order to prevent problems for those students who have paid their share of the arnona. The initiative, prepared at the instructions of the Mayor and led by the National Union of Israeli Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was drawn up in conjunction with the Students Union and the Municipality Youth Authority. It will change the handling of shared apartments to make the payment of the arnona personal for each tenant.
Currently, the arnona is paid jointly by all the tenants of an apartment, but enforcement against partial non-payment is collective against all of them. Under the amendment, the arnona will be paid personally by each roommate, so there will be no financial dependence on roommates’ payments. In other words, students who have paid their share will not have to fear a lien against their bank account or other enforcement measures, as in the past.
The new arrangement will come into effect in a year, after the new collection system is installed. Until the migration to the new format, to deal with the problem in the coming year, the Municipality will make available a special call center for the problem of arnona foreclosures at shared apartments. The call center will provide a response for students who have paid their share of the arnona, but nonetheless received a foreclosure warning or had a lien placed on their bank account.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, “This is the end of bureaucracy. We will no longer allow a situation in which a student who has paid will be the guarantor for his roommate’s debts. A person who has paid the arnona will no longer have to fear enforcement measures. We are constantly working to lessen red tape and make it easier for young people and students in the city, and we will continue to do so.”
Shlomi Yehiev, Chairman of the Students Union at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said, “This is a revolution! The era of foreclosures against students who have paid their share of the arnona debt is over. As of next year, all the settling of accounts between students will come to an end. We thank all the parties involved at the Jerusalem Municipality, starting with the Mayor, for listening to the voice of the students, for initiating this important change, and for the productive cooperation, despite the many bureaucratic challenges!”
Partners in the new arrangement are the Municipality’s Youth Authority, Young Jerusalem, youth portfolio holder Hanan Rubin, and the Students Union.
The Municipality calls on all students who have paid their share of the arnona to contact the call center to settle the matter, and for all those who have not yet settled their debt to do so without further delay.
The comprehensive arnona payment guide for students (including a guide to discounts) is available at the Students Union at the Hebrew University website: https://goo.gl/ge5agG (in Hebrew).
The designated email for student inquiries is: firstname.lastname@example.org