THE ARAB LOCAL AUTHORITIES COMMITTEEE
Local Authorities” Committee focuses primarily on enhancing ALAs’ economic resourcefulness and resilience. The objectives of the committee include:
Articulating the varying challenges confronted by ALAs in maximizing economic resourcefulness and demonstrating economic resilience in the face of challenges, both historic and emerging (for example the Coronavirus pandemic)
Articulating and presenting recommendations relevant to economic resourcefulness and resilience relevant to Resolution 292
Encouraging ALAs to take advantage of and leverage current government plans and budgets supporting the committee’s overarching goals
The committee’s work to date has been extensive and has included projects on a number of fronts, including addressing the government’s formula for determining municipal allocations for “closing the gaps” grants. These grants disburse approximately 500 million NIS per year to municipalities whose operations suffer from economic shortfalls.
In collaboration with Sikkuy, a policy paper presents data that indicates that the formula used for these grants disproportionally and unjustifiably discriminates against Arab local authorities. Also, in collaboration with Sikkuy, the committee conducted comprehensive research on Arab local authorities’ budgetary revenue streams, including income from residential and business property taxes, property taxes from industrial zones, so-called government “balancing” grants, and grants to reduce municipal economic gaps. This research and the attendant recommendations also include analyses of the economic impact of the pandemic.
Creation of a policy paper on the subject of financial resilience in ALAs
The paper was the foundation for talks between Injaz, the NCAM and key government ministries, in particular the Ministries of Interior and Social Equity.
Among the many topics addressed in the paper are “Reducing the Gap grants, “Leveling ” grants, the dire lack of municipal property tax revenues from local businesses, and the persistent lack of functioning industrial zones on ALAs.