The Province is implementing four more recommendations from the Farm Assessment Review Panel.
With the enactment of Bill 8 – the Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011 – on March 15, 2012, and through recent regulatory amendments, government will implement four panel recommendations for the 2013 Assessment Roll.
– Increase the tax exemption limit on farm outbuilding improvements (excluding the residence).
– Extend farmer’s dwelling and home site farm classification to retired farmers in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) for farms that stay in production.
– Reduce the administrative paperwork for farmers by changing the farm income reporting period to be consistent with each farmer’s Canada Revenue Agency income tax reporting period (i.e., a calendar or fiscal year).
– Provide more flexibility in meeting the requirements to maintain farm status by expanding the list of qualifying agricultural products (previously referred to as Primary Agricultural Production). Three new products will be added to the list:
– Broad leaf maple and birch sap or syrup.
– Breeding products (i.e., livestock semen, ova and embryos produced as part of livestock raising).
– Horse stud services provided as part of horse rearing.
The panel was appointed in February 2008 and conducted a provincewide consultation regarding the existing regulations and policies to ensure the farm assessment process was fair, equitable and streamlined. The panel submitted its report with a number of recommendations to the Province on July 31, 2009.
The panel included co-chairs Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard and John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes, as well as local government representatives, a cross-section of B.C.’s agriculture community, the BC Assessment Board and others.
The province implemented two panel recommendations for the 2010 assessment year, which clarified the rules for the split classification of Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) and non-ALR farm properties.