The B.C. government is exempting farm property owners from the minimum income requirement for farm tax status for a second year, to avoid tax increases for farms emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be classified as a farm in B.C., properties would normally have to show they are generating a minimum amount of gross revenue from qualifying agricultural land based on the size of the property. The deadline to apply for farm status for the 2022 tax year would ordinarily be Oct. 31, 2021.
“We’re helping farmers maintain their farm status by waiving income requirements for a second straight year,” Finance Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement June 14.
The ministry estimates that the first waiver for the current tax year exempted about 400 farm properties that have a history of income below the thresholds, including developing farms. There are nearly 19,000 qualifying farm properties for the 2021 property tax year.
Each year, B.C. Assessment sends out self-reporting income questionnaires and conducts intermittent inspections to determine whether a property should maintain its farm status for the upcoming tax year.