OFA offered a request to Finance Minister Bethlenfalvy for a virtual meeting to discuss how Ontario agriculture can enhance its contribution to Ontario’s economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic. OFA’s recommendations to improve property tax policies for on farm value-added activities, such as wineries and cideries, could encourage farmers to engage in value-added activities. Given the significant financial investment required for a farmer to engage in a value-added activity like producing wine or cider, a few hundred dollars saved in property tax is not a significant incentive. While OFA supports removing the $50,000 assessment threshold, we view it as the minimum requirement to incentivise farmers to invest in value-added activities. OFA’s standing position has been that if at least 51% of the product is grown and value-added to by the same farmer or farmers and at least 90% of the product is grown in Ontario, then that should be considered an extension of the farm business and taxed at no more than 25% of the residential property tax rate. This progressive tax policy will encourage more farmers to engage in value-added activities, helping Ontario expand its food and beverage processing capacity and generate significant economic activity in rural Ontario.
Submissions & Correspondence
OFA letter to the Finance Minister regarding property tax assessment of wineries and cideries
Updated: February 23, 2021