Why I’m Homeless, Part 1: The Jerusalem Tax Authority Allows Their Lawyer to Commit Fraud Against Jerusalem’s Citizens

If someone pays me money and then I sue them to pay me the same money again, that’s fraud, no? And, after my lawyer has been advised that that person doesn’t actually owe me the money anymore, but I allow my lawyer to keep suing them anyway, I am committing a crime, no?

Well, that rule apparently applies to regular citizens, but not to city councils and their lawyers in Israel.

Last December 2014, I made a payment arrangement with Jerusalem Municipality to pay my back taxes in payments.I am so poor, they made an exception and gave me a back discount on 3 years of taxes instead of 2. Their lawyer, however, has a hold on my account like a Rottweiler on a dog bone, and refuses to let go.

Their lawyer wants me to pay a flat fee of 4,000 NIS, which I don’t have; they refuse to make any kind of payment arrangements and insist I pay the 4000 in full, immediately.  He also refuses to speak with my lawyer about a payment arrangement.

However, according to the police enforcement unit. known as Hotza’ah La’Poa, I owe them over three  times as much, and they refuse to inform the court otherwise. Not only does the hold on my account include attorney fees, but it includes money I have already paid to the city of Jerusalem since January 2015. They issued a court order that all my belongings be seized immediately, and because I have a small start-up and need to run it from my laptop until I can pay, I now have to disobey another law and not update my official address in the Ministry of Interior. (I have a laptop because someone raised money to buy me a laptop so I would be able to work from home.)

The city of Jerusalem refuses to get involved and correct their lawyer, absolving themselves of all responsibility, and allowing their lawyer to keep a choke hold over my life that has rendered me homeless. I cannot write checks, and without checks, I cannot rent an apartment. I have become the proverbial “wandering Jew,” wandering from home to home of friends in Jerusalem since May.

I don’t have money to hire a lawyer to fix this, and I don’t have money to pay the municipality’s lawyer. I can barely make the payments to the municipality and to the storage unit (storing our belongings), buy clothing, and put food on the table.

The really sad part is that I know other people this has happened to as well. We need to get together and make a class action suit against the City’s lawyer and against the Jerusalem City Council..


Bank Statement showing Hold on Account for 12,577 NIS, which includes money already paid.
Bank Statement showing Hold on Account for 12,577 NIS, which includes money already paid.


Jerusalem City Tax Authority claim that there is no hold on my bank account.

About the Author
Nofyah Shem Tov moved to Israel in 1989 and currently lives in Jerusalem with her two youngest children. Mother of BlogMyLunch.com and 5 happy humans.
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