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January 14, 2019 3:34 pm

Tel Aviv Moves to Triple Municipal Taxes on Airbnb Units

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, Aug. 2, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Gabrielle Lurie.

The Tel Aviv Municipal Council was set on Monday to debate a proposal that would raise the municipal tax known as arnona by a factor of three on apartments rented for over three months through the Airbnb website.

According to Israel’s Channel 10, the proposal was put forth due to a rise in the number of long-term Airbnb rentals in the city. This has resulted in large sections of certain neighborhoods being essentially empty of permanent residents.

The municipality believes this damages housing prices and the rental market, as well as hotels, which are required to pay VAT, arnona, and other taxes that Airbnb rentals are not, placing them at a disadvantage.

Airbnb became controversial in Israel last year when it chose to drop listings in the West Bank settlements, prompting charges that the company was endorsing the anti-Israel BDS movement.

The company has since declared that it was involved in an ongoing dialogue with the Israeli government and, as long as that dialogue continued, it would not delist settlement offerings.

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