Municipal Amalgamation in Israel: Lessons and Proposals for the Future
Author: Yaniv Reingewertz
August 18, 2013
This policy paper deals with municipal amalgamations in Israel, and puts forward a concrete proposal for merging 25 small municipalities with adjacent ones.
According to an estimate based on the results of the municipal amalgamations reform carried out in Israel in 2003 (Reingewertz, 2012), thanks to the economies of scale in providing public services, these unifications are expected to generate savings of approximately NIS 131 million per annum.
The policy paper also discusses the drawbacks stemming from merging municipalities and proposes ways to minimize them. It then specifies the preconditions and criteria for amalgamation, e.g., the desirability of unifying small municipalities that are contiguous and that share similar cultural attributes. In that context, it is important to ensure the participation of the municipalities being merged in the decision making process, and to allow them to choose their partners to the process.