The feds announced eligible regional municipalities, but the area covered is not large enough
By Kate Ayers
The area covered by the government’s initial list of prescribed regions for this year’s livestock tax deferral is insufficient, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) said.
On Friday, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada released the regional municipalities (RMs) in each province (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec) that are eligible for livestock tax deferrals.
“The livestock tax deferral provisions allow livestock producers in prescribed drought, flood or excess moisture regions to defer a portion of their 2018 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2019 to help replenish the herd,” a government release said.
“The cost of replacing the animals in 2019 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale.”
The introduction of the tax deferral is appreciated by those in the eligible areas.
“The timing … is good and early so, the producers who are in the designated areas will be able to go about their business this fall and be able to plan if they are considering reducing their herds,” Todd Lewis, APAS president, said to Farms.com yesterday.
“And they know they will be able to move that income over a couple of years if necessary. Hopefully we’ll get better conditions next year and they can get some replacement animals and build the herd back up.”
Although this list is a good start, it does not cover all of the necessary areas, APAS said in a Friday release.
“Livestock producers in large areas of Saskatchewan are being forced to consider the sale of livestock due to poor pastures, lack of hay and water due to drought,” Lewis said in the release.
“The areas that are eligible for the 2018 livestock tax deferral do not include all of the affected producers.”
The list excludes areas in western and south-eastern Saskatchewan that experienced drought over the last two years, the APAS release said.
“The areas in Saskatchewan that have received sufficient moisture, do not have enough surplus feed to make up for feed shortages, which seriously restricts the ability of producers to find alternate sources,” Lewis said in the release.
The producer group has asked Lawrence MacAulay, the federal ag minister, to revise the areas of eligibility and allow all Saskatchewan livestock producers to qualify for tax deferral.
“There is room to have the list updated by December 31,” Lewis said to Farms.com.
"We don’t want to see any producers fall through the cracks so, we are going to ask our reps on the ground about the RMs that aren’t on the list right now.”