Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program

As a person who owns farmland in Ontario, you may be eligible for the Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program. Under this program:

  • Your farm residence and one acre of surrounding land will be taxed at your municipality’s residential tax rate
  • The rest of your farm property will be taxed at 25% of the residential tax rate

Farm properties that don’t qualify are taxed at the residential rate.

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Are you eligible?

If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you may qualify for the Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program.

Do you own farmland?

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) must assess your property as farmland.

Is it used for a farming business?

You must either farm the property yourself or have it farmed by a tenant farmer.

Does the farming business generate at least $7,000 a year?

The gross farm income must be at least $7,000 each year, as reported to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). For details on exemptions to the gross farm income requirement, see Gross farm income exemptions.

Does the farming business have a valid Farm Business Registration (FBR) number?

The farming business must have either a valid FBR number (6-7 digits) or a religious exemption from the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal. This requirement does not apply if you have a gross farm income exemption.

How do I get a FBR number?

You can apply to Agricorp for an FBR. You must maintain a gross farm income of $7,000 a year and renew your FBR every year to keep it valid. See For More Information for contact information.

Are you or your co-owners either Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada?

If you own your property as an individual, you must be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. If you co-own your property with other individuals, more than 50% of the owners must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If your company owns the property, more than 50% of the voting shares must be controlled by individuals who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

How to apply

Please fill out the enclosed application form for the Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program and return it to the address at the back of the booklet for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). If OMAFRA does not receive your application by the due date on the upper right corner of the form, you may be taxed at the full residential rate.

If you do not qualify for the program, please fill out Section A and return the application to OMAFRA.

Which sections should I fill in?

Section A: Fill in only if you do not qualify for the Farm Property Class Tax Rate
Section B: Fill in
Section C: Fill in
Section D: Fill in only if you have a tenant farmer
Section E: Fill in only if your gross farm income for last year was less than $7,000
Section F: Fill in only if you have been granted a religious exemption
Section G: Fill in

Section A: Property Owner Non-eligibility

If you do not qualify for the Farm Property Class tax rate, fill out this section so that we can update our records and take you off our mailing list. Your property will be taxed at the residential rate.

If you want to apply for the program, leave section A blank.

Section B: Owner Information

  • If you own or co-own the property as an individual, answer the first question. If your company owns the property, answer the second question.
  • Select your language preference.
  • Fill in your applicable contact information.

Section C: Property Information

  • Make sure each roll number, description and acreage listed is correct.
  • For each roll number, indicate whether the piece of land is farmed by you or by a tenant. If it is farmed by a tenant who gives you part of the crop as rent (sharecropping), check both the “self” and “tenant” boxes.
  • For each roll number, write in the FBR number (6-7 digits) of the person or company farming the piece of land.

Section D: Tenant Farmer Declaration

  • If you have a tenant farmer or sharecropper, ask him/her to fill in his/her name, address and phone number. If you have more than one tenant or sharecropper, photocopy the form and have each one fill in a copy.
  • Ask your tenant farmer(s) or sharecropper(s) to sign the application form.

Section E: Gross Farm Income Exemption

If your gross farm income was less than $7,000 last year:

  • Check the applicable box.
  • Contact OMAFRA for additional forms that you will need to fill out.
  • Write a letter explaining why you are asking for an exemption.
  • Send your application, letter and additional forms to the Ministry by the due date printed on the application.

For details on exemptions to the gross farm income requirement, see Gross farm income exemptions.

We will verify the information you send us. If necessary, we may ask you to submit a new application or additional documentation.

Section F: Farm Business Registration Exemption for Religious Conviction or Belief

  • If the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal has given the person operating the farm business a religious exemption from filing the FBR form or paying the registration fee, check the “yes” box.
  • If this person is a tenant, ask him/her to fill in his/her full name, address and phone number and have him/her sign the declaration.

Section G: Property Owner Eligibility Declaration & Acknowledgements

  • Carefully read the eligibility declaration and acknowledgements. The declaration is used to keep the property in the Farm Property Class for future years.
  • Sign and date this section. If you are signing on behalf of an individual or a company, indicate your title or position.

Keep us informed

Once you have been approved for the Farm Property Class Tax Rate, we generally will not send you a new application form each year. However, you are responsible for letting us know about any changes that affect your eligibility. These include:

  • Changes in your rental arrangements (such as a new tenant farmer)
  • Changes in the structure of the farming business (such as forming a partnership or incorporating)
  • Changes that affect the farm business number or exemption status
  • Any other circumstances that affect your participation in the program

If you fail to let us know about these changes, we will remove your property from the Farm Property Class and you may have to repay all applicable municipal property taxes.

You are also responsible for making sure that any farm business on your property has a valid FBR number or an appropriate exemption. This includes the farm business of any tenant farmers. FBR numbers must be renewed with Agricorp each year. Without a valid FBR number or an appropriate exemption for every farm business on your land, your property is not eligible for the Farm Property Class Tax Rate.

Finally, please let us know about any changes to your contact information.

I have already been approved. Why are you sending me an application form?

Each year, we ask a number of randomly selected property owners to fill out a new Farm Property Class Tax Rate application form. This helps us verify information and maintain the integrity and accuracy of our database. We also send out a new application form if you inform us of any changes to your farming operation or if MPAC informs us of a change in property ownership.

If you bought farmland last year see Property Transfers.

Gross farm income exemptions

If you or your tenant cannot obtain a FBR number because your prior year gross farm income was less than $7,000, you may still be eligible for the Farm Property Class tax rate if one of the following exemptions applies:

Age/Illness/Death Exemption

If you cut back on the size or scale of your farming business because of age, illness or the death of your spouse or commonlaw partner, you may apply for an exemption. Contact OMAFRA for the appropriate forms.

To be eligible:

  1. You must carry on the farm business yourself – AND –
  2. You or your spouse must have operated the farm business for at least 10 years and met the criteria for the Farm Property Class tax rate during that time – AND –
  3. The farm business must have reported a gross farm income greater than zero to Canada Revenue Agency.

Not a Normal Production Year Exemption

If the gross farm income (GFI) is usually at least $7,000 but it was not a normal production year, you may apply for an exemption. Contact OMAFRA for the appropriate forms. You will need to demonstrate why the GFI was less than $7,000 and how the farm business will gross $7,000 within the next year or two.

Start-up Exemption

If you or your tenant are starting a farm operation and have not yet met the $7,000 income criteria, you may apply for an exemption. Contact OMAFRA for the appropriate forms. You must clearly demonstrate that the property is being farmed and how the farm business will gross $7,000 in future years. The length of the start-up period must be realistic for the commodity produced.

For required documentation and details on how to apply for these exemptions, call us at 1-877-424-1300 or email us at farmtax.omafra@ontario.ca. The exemption forms are also available online.

Confirm your assessment

In the fall of 2012, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) mailed Property Assessment Notices to all property owners in Ontario. MPAC administers a uniform, province-wide property assessment system based on Current Value Assessment in accordance with the provisions of the Assessment Act. During a non-Assessment Update year, MPAC will only issue Property Assessment Notices to properties that have experienced a change.

When you receive your Assessment Notice, check the following:

  • In the Assessed value of your property section, your property classification should appear as “farm”. If you have a house on the property, you will see a “residential” classification as well. If you do not see “farm”, contact OMAFRA to file a Request for Reconsideration (RfR). If there is an error with the assessed value, or if the information about your property is incorrect, you may file a RfR with MPAC.
  • In the Property summary section at the bottom of the Notice, the property type listed should be “farm property”. If there is an error, contact MPAC.

To access a detailed report of your property, or to file a RfR online with MPAC, visit www.aboutmyproperty.ca. The deadline to file a RfR is March 31 of the current tax year.

Property Transfers

If you bought farmland, the Farm Property Class application will be sent to you and must be returned within the required deadline. The standard application is for the upcoming tax year.

If you bought farmland that is currently in the Residential Property Class but meets the eligibility requirements for the Farm Property Class, you may contact OMAFRA to apply before December 31st of the tax year, for the period of the tax year you owned the property.

To ensure that your property continues to be valued as farmland and classified in the Farm Property Class:

  • the lands must be actively farmed by the property owner or a tenant farmer; AND
  • the property owner or tenant farmer must maintain a valid Farm Business Registration number

Important: MPAC will classify properties that do not meet the above criteria as residential for the following tax year. You will receive a Property Assessment Change Notice in the fall showing the change from the Farm Property Class to the Residential Class. The property will be liable for taxes at the residential tax rate.

If you have questions, call us at 1-877-424-1300 or email us at farmtax.omafra@ontario.ca.

For more information

About Farm Business Registration

Agricorp
Toll Free: 1-866-327-3678
Fax: 519-826-4118
Email: contact@agricorp.com
Website: www.agricorp.com

About Property Assessment

MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation)
Toll Free: 1-866-296-6722
Website: www.mpac.ca

About the Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program
1 Stone Road W, 4th Floor
Guelph, Ontario N1G 4Y2
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300 | Tel: 519-826-4047
Fax: 519-826-3170
Email: farmtax.omafra@ontario.ca
Website: www.ontario.ca/farmtax


For more information:
Toll Free:1-877 424-1300
Email: farmtax.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Barry Duffey - Manager, Program Operations Unit, Rural Programs Branch, OMAFRA
Creation Date: 12 April 2001
Last Reviewed: 2 July 2014