Homosexual couples will receive same property tax exemptions as heterosexual couples, HA'ARETZ reported. The decision by the Supreme Court opens a new stage in the recognition of equality before the law for same-sex couples in Israel. The decision was was issued at the Supreme Court hearing on the appeal of two Tel Aviv residents, Adir Steiner and Tzach Granit, who shared an apartment since 1996. In May 2000, Steiner requested the exemption after he transferred to Granit half of the rights to his apartment. This exemption is extended to married couples or common-law spouses living together for over a year. The application for the exemption was rejected by the supervisor of property taxes, who said that the law designates it be awarded only to "a man and a woman living as a family." The head of the property tax betterment department also rejected the request on this basis. The property tax appeals committee, which has judicial powers parallel to those of the District Court, upheld the rejection, leading Steiner and Granit to appeal to the Supreme Court in June 2003.