Ontario Federation of Agriculture Concerned about Farmland Values in Relation to Farm Taxes
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), Mark Wales says that he is concerned that with farmland values on the rise in the province that many farmers could be hit with a disproportionate tax burden in their 2013 property tax bills.
Farmland values have grown to outplace residential values, which has pushed farm taxes higher. With this new phenomenon, the increase in values will mean that farmers will be on the hook for a larger share of the bill for municipal services and infrastructure.
Municipalities in the province set the farm tax rate as a percentage of the residential tax rate and the farm tax rate is intended to take into consideration the lower amount of municipal services that are required of farm properties. Instead, Farmers do pay residential tax rates for their home dwellings, plus one acre of their land. The increase in farmland values compared to housing prices may lead to a tax burden shift onto farm properties.
The OFA is currently working with 52 of its county federations to work with members so that they have the right tools to advocate and express their concerns to their municipalities.