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A loss to the signage companies in Be'er Sheva - they will have to pay fees to the municipality even during the Corona period - voila! native


The court rejected a claim by four signage and advertising companies operating in the city, who claimed that while other businesses in the city were exempted from paying the signage fee during the Corona period, they were discriminated against

Queuing for an antigen test at the Grand Canyon in Be'er Sheva, January 2022 (Photo: Shay Machlouf)

The District Court of Bashkortostan rejected a petition submitted by 4 companies dealing in the field of outdoor signage and posting signs on existing buildings in the city of Beer Sheva, which claimed discrimination on the part of the municipality. According to them, while the municipality did not collect signage fees from other businesses during the Corona period, they were forced to continue paying a fee. Judge Yoel Aden accepted the municipality's argument, according to which there is a difference between a company that advertises other businesses on buildings in the city, and businesses that post a single sign near the business.

In 2017, Beer Sheva raised the annual fee for signage to a total of NIS 500 per square meter, Whereas previously the fee was 270 shekels per square meter. During the Corona period, the municipality established a temporary order in the by-law, according to which it grants an exemption from the licensing fee to small businesses. In regards to the signage companies, the municipality refused to grant them an exemption, but agreed to reduce the amount of the fee to 400 NIS per square meter when later they will have to make up the difference.

The companies submitted a petition to the District Court of Bashkortostan and claimed that this is discrimination in relation to other businesses that received an exemption, since they were severely affected during the Corona period, customers did not spend money on new campaigns and they were forced to cancel orders for outdoor signage that had already been ordered. According to them, there is no difference between a company that hangs Her advertisement sign and received an exemption from paying the fee, among them. According to them, most of the billboards were removed during this period and caused them severe economic damage. They added that the municipality was expected to grant them an exemption from paying the signage fees as other municipalities did, for example the Tel Aviv municipality, which decided to grant 50% Fee discount even without an amendment to the Municipal Bylaw According to the companies, the purpose of the signage fee is that as long as there is no advertising - there is no service from the local authority, and hence there is no rationale in the absence of advertising, for collecting a signage fee.

The companies added and argued that the municipality refuses to issue them new signage licenses on the grounds that there are old debts for signage fees, and the municipality should not be authorized to collect them through administrative enforcement.

The court ruled that there is no discrimination.

Adv. Ofer Shapir (Photo: Yoni Raif Tagari)

The municipality of Beer Sheva, through the lawyers Ofer Shapir and Nathaniel Otami from the office of Ofer Shapir & Co., claimed that the situation of the petitioners is different from the situation of the other businesses that received an exemption, since their activity was neither banned nor shut down compared to the activity of other businesses.

Even if the scope of their income decreased during the Corona period, they could still continue to advertise on the billboards.

The municipality further claimed that, similar to other cities, it also made a distinction between signage companies that advertise on many buildings and rooftops, and a small, lone business that has one sign on or above the store.

Regarding the issuance of signage licenses, the municipality claimed that the signage fee is a fee paid as part of sign license procedures, and is not intended to finance a specific service.

Therefore, it is not based on an economic calculation and in exchange for a payment a license is issued to place signage.

The district court accepted the municipality's arguments and rejected the petitions while stating that there is no discrimination between the petitioners and other businesses in the decisions made by the municipality regarding the exempt grant.

"This is a fundamental difference between the two groups of businesses - in the first group, these are businesses that have been completely or almost completely shut down from economic and business activity, and it is understood that the closure of the business itself undermines the need for signs. This, unlike the petitioners who are engaged in displaying outdoor advertising signs, the signs are not in their businesses , their activity was not banned, and they were not prevented from continuing it. I believe that this difference between the types of businesses leaves no ground for the claim of discrimination."

The court even rejected the claim of the petitioners regarding the retroactive charge and stated that they must make up the gap they received from the municipality, when it agreed to give them a temporary discount on the fee payment during the Corona period.

  • native

  • Economic business and real estate


  • Beer Sheva

Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-02-05

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