A Politician’s Appraisal of Property Taxation
Throughout the world, governments are searching for better taxation systems than those we are familiar with to finance the activities of local authorities. Every known local taxation system includes some snag, drawback, or disadvantage to the individual or to the community. Land and taxation policy experts continually study and compare the existing systems, as well as proposals to ameliorate them.
In “A Politician’s Appraisal of Property Taxation: Israel’s Experience with the Arnona,” the system is first summarized for those are unfamiliar with this, the arnona, Israel’s unique form of local tax. The arnona has a tremendous effect on local authorities in the country, as it is by far their main source of income. In Tel Aviv, for instance, it provides nearly two-thirds of the city’s annual income. At first glance, the arnona seems to be a very non-sophisticated system, especially compared with the advanced CAMA [Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal] and/or the ad valorem property tax. However, upon closer scrutiny, the taxation scholar discovers several distinct advantages of the arnona system, and a potential for application in many other countries, once some of the disadvantages are overcome.