Despite difficulties, the haredi parties in the Knesset have successfully passed a bill to exempt yeshivas and seminaries from paying arnona, or property tax, through the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
The bill was submitted by MKs Yoav Ben-Tzur (Shas) and Menachem Eliezer Moses (UTJ). It is expected to reach the Knesset Assembly for its preliminary vote on Wednesday.
The Ministries of Finance, Interior and Jerusalem provided their on the motion, as they would lose significant revenues, particularly in Jerusalem.
In order to handle the concern, the Ministerial Committee decided that the project's funding would come from the Interior Ministry. Various sources report that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) himself offered to fund the bill from his ministry's budget.
In late 2014, MK Rabbi Ben-Tzur submitted a similar bill. "The purpose of this law is to clarify that there is no reason to exclude yeshivas and seminaries from the exemption clause for synagogues, and to clearly establish that the law exempting yeshivas and seminaries from arnona is the same exemption given to synagogues, which also serve as places for studying Torah or prayer and do not conduct business," the it stated.