CFA Mostly Pleased with Federal Budget but Raises Some Concerns
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) released its reaction -- as it pertains to agriculture -- to the Harper Government’s eighth budget which was tabled yesterday.
While the agricultural group welcomed many of the measures in the budget, it also indicated that they had some concerns around taxation barriers for young and small-scale farmers.
"Overall, we are pleased to see Budget 2013 outline several important contributions essential to the growth of the sector - reaffirmation of the $3 billion in funding for Growing Forward 2 programs and investments in research and innovation, in particular," said CFA President Ron Bonnett in a press release.
The following are some highlights of the budget that affect agriculture:
•Increase of $50,000 of Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption – tool that can help farmers manage the tax burden with the transfer of farm assets.
•Section 31 – Restricted Farm Losses (Income Tax Act) – the budget indicated an increase from $8,750 to $17,500. The CFA identifies this as a major barrier for new entrant farmers. This section deals with the circumstances that a farmer can claim for farm losses. The CFA recommends that a more realistic figure might be closer to $40,000 for new entrants into agriculture especially with high farmland costs and farming’s increasing capital costs.
•Increase in investment in Genome Canada – which will support agriculture innovation and research.
•Commitment to significant funds for infrastructure that will help support rural communities which will be good for farmers and increase the accessibility for transportation of agricultural products to markets.
•Continued support for beyond the boarder work and reducing barriers to trade between U.S. and Canada
•Continued emphasis on trade and creating a competitive business environment