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Bill by MK Karin may help disabled people


Mk Karin Elharrar who is physically disabled due to Muscular dystrophy proposed a bill helping disabled people receive a mortgage from banks .
This bill that passed on Sunday does not allow the banks to deny disabled people a mortgage on the basis of lacking life insurance.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the requirement of the government to prefer using
companies that employ disabled people. There are 900,000 disabled adults and over half of them are unemployed.
As Robert M. Hensel said ” There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more .”

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500 Start-ups opens Israel office


By Roy Goldenberg

GLOBES

US venture capital fund 500 Start-ups is opening an Israel office. The fund, which operates one of the world’s five leading accelerators, has appointed Adam Benayoun and Diana Moldavsky as investment partners. They will be sourcing and investing in Israeli companies as well as supporting the existing 500 Start-ups network in Israel. 500 Start-ups has invested to date sums of between $100,000 and $250,000 in about 1,200 early stage start-ups worldwide.

Benayoun said that the fund plans making 10-20 investments over the next year. The total investment (each of up to $250,000) could reach $5 million.  Some of the start-ups will be invited to join 500 Start-ups accelerators in San Francisco and Mountain View.

Founded in 2010, 500 Start-ups is a venture capital seed fund and start-up accelerator based in Silicon Valley with $200 million in assets under management.


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Knesset approves Kahlon’s tax increases on apartments for investment


By Niv Elis

The Knesset on Monday approved Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s plan to increase taxes on apartments, a move intended to steer existing apartments out of the rental market and onto the sales market.

By making it more expensive for investors to buy apartments for renting out, the Finance Ministry hopes to keep more apartments on the market for home buyers, thus driving down the sales price.

The law will go into effect on June 24, not July 1 as earlier planned, in order to cover apartment buyers looking to quickly close deals ahead of the law coming into effect.

Tax rates will rise to 8 percent on apartments under NIS 1.12 million (currently at 5%), from NIS 1.12 m. to NIS 3.37m. (currently 6%) and from NIS 3.37m. to NIS 4.64m. (Currently 7%).  They will rise to 10% on apartments from NIS 4.64m. to NIS 15.47m. (currently 8%) and remain at 10% for apartments over NIS 15.47m.

“I’ve seen the entirety of things they (the Finance Ministry) want to do in housing, and for the first time we are talking about a serious process and, if it comes to fruition, we are on the right path,” said Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ).

Zionist Union MK Manuel Trajtenberg, who had run as his party’s nominee for finance minister, congratulated Kahlon for getting the ball rolling.

“This is the first step in the right direction after six years of absent policy for failed attempts to deal with the insane increase in home prices,” Trajtenberg said.

The bill hit a brief sang when opposition parties objected to how the new rules apply to siblings who inherit an apartment. The apartment would be considered an investment apartment only if three or more siblings inherit it.

“You must find a solution to inheriting siblings starting at two siblings, and not just from there up,” said Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit. “We should define ownership as over  ‘a portion of the apartment’ and not a third of an apartment.”

The treasury promised to address the issue within a month, and the provision of a temporary measure in the bill brought most of the opposition on board to support it.

Finance Ministry director-general Shay Badad noted that the policy was the first in a series of steps intended to increase the supply of housing, but said this step was one that could have an immediate, if limited, impact.

Every percentage increase in the purchase tax, he said, would reduce the market of investors by 10%.