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Group files for details on tax breaks for ICL on Dead Sea mineral extraction profits

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

A canal that takes water pumped from the Dead Sea uphill to evaporation pools at the Dead Sea Works. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)
A canal that takes water pumped from the Dead Sea uphill to evaporation pools at the Dead Sea Works. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

The environmental advocacy organization, Adam Teva V’Din, files a Freedom of Information request to the Tax Authority for details about a compromise agreement it signed with ICL Group on payments into a sovereign wealth fund based on profits from Dead Sea mineral extraction.

The organization argues that the compromise is of public interest, particularly against years of reports about huge differences in opinion between the authority and ICL on the matter.

In late July, ICL notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that the two had reached a final agreement on the amounts to be paid for the years 2016 to 2020, as well as a framework for the payment mechanism to be applied from 2021 onwards.

A central issue, according to the report, was the methodology for valuing Dead Sea Works’ assets at the end of its franchise to mine minerals from the saline lake in 2030.

After public notice of the compromise, reports emerged that the Tax Authority had wiped a third off ICL’s sovereign wealth fund bill.

“The public has the right to know and understand why a compromise arrangement was reached, why more than a third of the original demand was waived, and what the principles are upon which the tax will be calculated from now,” Adam Teva V’Din argues.

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