Gov’t looks to collect real estate taxes on billboards, cell phone towers
**#1 EXCLUSIVE- Hungry treasury looks to collect real estate taxes on billboards, cell phone towers: The government is looking to step up its collection of real estate taxes payable on sites used for billboards and mobile network towers, a government source tells Enterprise. The Tax Authority is currently conducting a sweep of the country’s towers and billboards, which will be treated as real estate and subjected to a tax equivalent to 10% of their rent value. The levy will be payable retroactively until 2013. The move comes as the Finance Ministry is working to meet its budget deficit target in part by ensuring “ensuring the state gets what it is owed,” a government source told us earlier this week. As we noted yesterday, the Finance Ministry is on track to revise its budget deficit target for FY2018-19 to 8.6%, up from an original forecast of 8.4%, thanks to high oil prices and rising US interest rates.