Tel Aviv Might Not Be So Expensive After All

March 7, 2022 | Dror Marmor
About the author:

Last year, the Economist gave Israel’s second city the dubious distinction of being the most expensive on earth. Yes, admits Dror Marmor, property values are very high, and everyday items tend to cost more—but such figures don’t tell the whole story:

Tel Avivians love to talk about the “vibe” that keeps them in the city, but it’s important to talk about cold economic considerations as well, about the fact that they receive from wealthy, self-satisfied Tel Aviv more than they could receive from any other city in the country. Were they to move to a place like [the remote towns of] Harish or Rosh Ha’ayin, they would certainly save thousands of shekels on rent, but the savings would very quickly be spent fuel and vehicle wear and tear (and that’s without pricing the time lost on the roads, which can never be retrieved).

And indeed, according to the dry data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Tel Aviv is one of the most worthwhile cities for residents, in cost versus return. Average arnona [a municipal property tax paid by renters and owners alike] per person in the city is NIS 1,951 [$594] a year, which compares with NIS 2,131 [$649] per person in neighboring Givatayim and an average of NIS 1,235 [$376] for all Israel’s cities. What tips the balance in Tel Aviv’s favor is undoubtedly municipal spending per person. In Tel Aviv it is NIS 11,981 [$3,650] annually, the highest in the country. The national average is NIS 7,647 [$2,330], and the figure for Givatayim is NIS 7,061 [$2,151]. In other words, every person in Tel Aviv receives almost NIS 10,000 net a year from the municipality.

Read more on Globes: