Jerusalem (Dec. 30)
Jewish Palestine was up in arms today against the taxation of land proposed by the government which may seriously affect the future of the flourishing Jewish citrus industry in Palestine.
The government proposes to abolish the fifteen per cent tax on all income derived from real estate, known as the “verko,” and the ten per cent tax on all income derived from agricultural land, known as the “osher.”
A single land tax is proposed to replace the two separate taxes, consisting of a levy of one to two piastres (five to ten cents) on each dunam of land used for ordinary agricultural purposes, and a tax of eighty-two piastres ($4.10) on each dunam of land used to grow oranges.
The World Zionist Executive announced its opposition to the proposed new land tax and asked a commission of lawyers for an opinion as to the constitutionality of the measure.
A delegation of prominent Jewish leaders was appointed to visit High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope and ask him to postpone the introduction of the land tax.
The proposed tax, in the opinion of Jewish leaders, will place a heavy and unfair burden on the flourishing citrus industry which has contributed materially to the present prosperity of Palestine.
The government, it was pointed out, has been strict in enforcing the tax on real estate incomes, but has been very lenient in collecting the “osher.” In the past year the tax was not collected on the ground that the crops of the peasants were poor.