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that have been made to the Farm Property Class Tax Rate program will mean less
red tape for farmers and less costly, more efficient program delivery from the
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). In the past
under this program, farm owners have registered annually with OMAFRA to be entitled
to pay 25 per cent of municipal residential taxes on eligible property.
changes were made as a result of consultations with farmers and other stakeholders
on ways the ministry could improve the program.
In 2000, OMAFRA began sending multi-year applications
to all eligible farmland owners. The form contains a declaration
allowing the property owner to maintain eligibility for several
years, as well as a commitment from the owner to inform OMAFRA
if the property is sold or changed in any way. Once the eligibility
of the property is established, owners will not have to apply
every year. This means farmers won't have to worry about missing
deadlines, and missing out on tax savings. At the same time, legislative
changes were made to allow municipalities to collect back-taxes
if an owner does not report a change that affects the property's
eligibility for the Farm Property Class tax rate.
OMAFRA will send applications only to:
- those owners whose property
has been sold or changed,
- new farmland property owners,
- randomly selected
owners, in order to maintain compliance and the integrity of data, and
owners who request an application in order to update their eligibility information.
Staggered deadline dates:
of having one deadline date for the entire province, the ministry will stagger
the dates according to the location of the farm. This change will speed up the
process by cutting down on the volume of applications to be processed all at once.
It will also improve the ministry's ability to respond to client inquiries.
treatment for the North:
Legislative changes to the Provincial
Land Tax Act, Local Roads Board Act and the Local Services Board Act ensure consistent
treatment for farm properties in the unorganized townships of Northern Ontario.