Controversy Surrounds Appointment of Non-Professional as Public Representative in Taxation Appeals Committee
The recent appointment of Avi Kachon, a broadcaster, presenter, and music critic, as a public representative in the appeals committee for real estate taxation in Nazareth, has drawn sharp criticism from professionals in the field of taxation and appraisals. The decision was made by Minister of Justice Yariv Levin, despite Kachon’s lack of appropriate background and training.
The appeals committee for real estate taxation acts as an appeals court on decisions made by the tax authority in the area of appreciation tax. The committee consists of a judge, who serves as chairman, and two other members, at least one of whom is a public representative. While the law does not specify that the public representative must be a professional in the field of real estate taxation, previous appointments have typically been individuals with relevant training and background such as real estate appraisers, accountants, and lawyers specialized in the field of taxation.
According to sources in the field of valuation, appraisals, and public administration, Kachon’s appointment as a public representative is considered “illusory” and has raised concerns about the integrity of the committee. Professionals argue that someone without knowledge and expertise in the field of taxation would struggle to understand and judge the legal arguments presented during taxation appeals.
In defense of his appointment, Kachon highlighted that his outsider status would provide a different perspective on the appeals committee, which could better serve the public. He mentioned his experience serving on the Pardes Hana Karkur local council, where he gained knowledge of planning and construction matters.
However, critics argue that the appeals committee is a judicial body that requires professionals with a deep understanding of the field. They suggest that appointing individuals with a background in taxation, such as accountants, would ensure fair and well-informed decisions.
In response to the criticism, Kachon emphasized that the law does not mandate a background in taxation or real estate for a public representative. He argued that a public representative brings a different eye and angle to the cases and that the judge, as the professional, should be accompanied by someone from a different field, such as an engineer or another professional.
Kachon also emphasized the importance of fairness and avoiding favoritism, suggesting that his outsider status would contribute to unbiased decision-making. He acknowledged that he had applied for various public positions in the past, and this appointment was a result of the Ministry of Justice considering his name.
The appointment of Kachon to the appeals committee has sparked debate among professionals and raised questions about the criteria used to appoint public representatives to judicial bodies like the appeals committee. The controversy highlights the importance of ensuring that individuals appointed to such committees have the necessary expertise and knowledge to make informed decisions regarding taxation matters.