Budafest (Jul. 10)
The Central Board of Hungarian Jews has made representations to the government to correct abuses affecting Jews, it was revealed (##)ere today. The protests and positive suggestions covered the subjects of land reform, anti-Semitism, restitution of property, special inheritance taxes and education.
Its most successful representations were made in the field of education. A request for payment of full-time Jewish religious teachers in public schools was granted. In a memorandum on anti-Semitism, the Board’s recommendation for an educational program to combat racism was taken under advisement by the Minister of Education, who promised to adopt special measures to fulfill the Board’s requests.
The second part of the memorandum, aimed at uprooting anti-Semitism, was rejected by the Justice Ministry on the grounds that the general law already in effect was sufficient and that the Board’s proposal would place the Jews in a special category and might foster anti-Jewish sentiment.
The Finance Ministry has rejected a request from the Board that it lower the assessments on real estate on which inheritance taxes must be paid by the hairs of Jews who died as a result of persecution. Under most circumstances the Ministry sets the value of a house at eight times its real estate tax, then it demands an inheritance tax based on the estimated value, Although theoretically the inheritance tax for survivors of persecution is lower than for the rest of the population, the method of assessing the value of the property results in a much higher tax.
PLEA ON HEIRLESS PROPERTY REMAINS UNANSWERED
Still unanswered is a plea for correction of certain abuses in the disposition of landed property owned by Jews who died heirless. In many instances where the holder of the property is entitled to approximately 220 acres on the basis of the land reform law, and the balance, in the absence of heirs, should revert to the Jewish Rehabilitation Fund, local officials have not turned it over to the Fund administration.
Other protests have been lodged against the heavy fees demanded by notaries for certifying documents. With the necessity for filing dozens of documents to prove ownership of confiscated property, the Jews are heavily burdened by the high fees. They have urged that the notaries’ fees be out to one-third for Jews. The Justice ministry agreed to a reduction to two-thirds of the usual fee.
The Board also protested the failure of the Budapest authorities to draw up without charge documents relating to the inheritance of property of victims of persecution. To some extent this abuse was corrected when the mayor instructed the registry office to furnish copies without fees.
The Board, which was appointed trustee of funds of Jewish communities which had been wiped out, has asked that it be named guardian of funds belonging to other extinot Jewish organizations such as fraternal orders. It failed to obtain a reduction in rent paid by Jewish communities, most of whom now lease houses for headquarters.