Minimum income for abolished farm tax status in British Columbia – Victoria News
With BC farmers struggling to harvest and sell their crops during the coronavirus pandemic, the BC government has suspended regulations that require minimum income to qualify for farm property tax status in 2021.
Current regulations require that the minimum gross farm income be reached every two years, with at least one income generated each year from a qualifying agricultural use depending on the size of the operation. Tax status is determined by Before Christ Evaluation, which sends out self-report income questionnaires and then performs intermittent inspections to determine whether farms should maintain their tax status for the coming year.
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said the one-year waiver of the rule was a response to a difficult year for small farms, which depend on roadside stalls, agricultural markets and the audience interaction for their income.
“Without this action, a number of properties would have been at risk of losing their farming status for the 2021 tax year, which would significantly increase the tax burden on these farmers and farming families,” said the ministry in a July 29 statement.
The BC Liberal opposition has called on the Popham government and the NDP to provide more options for farmers. Delta South MPP Ian Paton, the agriculture critic, introduced a private member’s bill last week that would allow farmers to sell their own kitchen products as well as raw produce.
“There are people all over the province who would love the opportunity to sell fresh baked goods, fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies and more,” said Paton. “Right now, if someone can’t afford an industrial kitchen, they are incredibly limited in where they can sell their products. “
British Columbia Liberal MP John Rustad introduced another bill calling on the NDP government to repeal legislation that restricts secondary uses of farmland in certain areas, prevents farmers from directly asking the board of farmland property exclusions and restricts the addition of housing to farmland.
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Coronavirus