Israel: A tax on dogs when the orthodox want to hit the laity in the pocket

Tel Aviv, a secular city par excellence, leads in terms of the number of registered dogs in the city with 39,373 new dogs in 2020

The United Torah Judaism religious party may have a bill on the way to dramatically increase registration fees for dog owners in Israel from NIS 50 to NIS 3,500 a year. The idea arose on Monday from the pen of a Walla journalist who remembered that such a text, proposed in April by the opposition, had been rejected by the Lapid government and could now see the light of day.

The text in question proposed a new tax for dog owners. An annual fee of 3,500 shekels, or about 936 euros. The idea, which opposition members saw as a retaliatory measure for the one-time service tax, could thus be revived now that the religious party is preparing to join Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

The bill, originally drafted by MPs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev in April, proposed increasing the annual tax on dogs in what lawmakers called an “environmental tax”. In addition, owners of two or more dogs had to pay NIS 7,000 per year. Gafni said at the time that this “environmental tax will reflect the great damage to the environment that breeding dogs cause, which damages the ecological balance”.

According to the National Dog Registration Database compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Veterinary Department, Tel Aviv is unsurprisingly the leader in terms of the number of registered dogs in the city, with 39,373 new dogs registered in 2020. Tel Aviv also tops the list of cities where families own more than one dog, with 2,998 households registered as having several dogs. Rishon Lezion comes in second with 17,720 dogs, while Haifa completes the top three with 16,585 new dogs. The ultra-Orthodox settlement Beitar Illit in the West Bank has the fewest registered dogs.

Leave a Comment