BC regulations to get farm status - ask international
My question is: Canadian-specific QUESTION: I would like to know what the requirements are to obtain farm status in BC? The idea being to reduce municipal taxes. Thank you --------------------------------------------------------------------------- david ingram replies: I am out of time but the following Q & A should help. QUESTION: Background info: My spouse and I currently own a condo in Vancouver which is our principal residence. We have recently purchased a LOT on Gambier island, each taking a quarter interest my wife and I with my brother and his wife. They currently own a home, and have a rental home. Question: Is there any way of reducing the property tax on the Gambier island lot as it has no structure on it at all. It is land only. =========================================== david ingram replies: Sure - farm it. One client on Vancouver Island is growing Violetta Artichoke Hearts on his property. You just have to sell $2,500 to $10,000 of farm gate produce a year to qualify depending on the size of your lot. What Amount of Income Must be Earned to Qualify for Farm Class? In order to receive and maintain the farm class, your farm must meet the following criteria: If your land is smaller than 8,000 m2 (2ac), you must earn $10,000 from the sale of primary agricultural products. If your land is between 8,000 m2 (2ac) and 4 ha (10ac), $2,500 must be earned. If your land is larger than 4 ha (10ac), $2,500 plus 5 per cent of the actual value of any farm land in excess of 4 ha (10ac) must be earned from farming activity on the land. Your minimum annual income will be calculated based on the farm gate prices of your agricultural products. This income may be calculated for either of the last two years ending October 31. Primary agricultural products must be sold each year. Crops grown for home consumption cannot be included as part of your minimum income. What is Meant by the Term "Farm Gate Price"? Farm gate price refers to the dollar value of agricultural products that you receive from direct farm sales or the value of primary products used for processing. Receipts from farm gate sales are frequently requested by BC Assessment as evidence of sales. They help BC Assessment determine whether your property continues to qualify for farm class. In the case of livestock, typically farm gate price refers to the live weight sale price, less any purchase costs; not the killed or dressed sale price quoted from the butcher. What Happens if I am not Able to Supply Sales Receipts? In the absence of receipts, our staff will rely on local market prices supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food or other local sources. What Happens if my Farm Does Not Meet the Income Requirements, or I Stop Farming? If the land does not meet the income requirements for Farm Class or you stop farming, BC Assessment will remove the property from the Farm Class. If the property is in the ALR, the land will (in most cases) continue to receive the 50 per cent exemption for school and hospital purposes. Can I Apply to Have the Farm Class Re-instated in the Future? Yes. If you re-apply for farm classification on or before October 31 of any given year and meet the prescribed qualifications, your property should qualify for farm class in the following year. What are the Deadlines? For land to be classed as farm for the next taxation year, you must apply on a prescribed form on or before October 31. Application forms are available at your local office of BC Assessment. Applicants are encouraged to submit their farm applications to the local BC Assessment office as soon as possible. Early application will ensure that BC Assessment staff have time to inspect and review the farm operation before crops are harvested and sold. Land already classed as farm must continue to meet the requirements for Farm Class on or before October 31 to receive farm classification for the following year. Crown tenures issued after October 31 will have until December 31 to apply for farm classification. What if I Buy a Property that is Already Classified "Farm"? If you plan to continue to farm the property, you should submit a new farm application to BC Assessment in the year that you purchase the property. If you are not planning to continue to farm the property, you should contact BC Assessment and notify the staff of your plans to cease agricultural activity. What Qualifies as Primary Agricultural Production? For the purposes of farm classification under the Assessment Act, primary agricultural production is: aquaculture, apiculture, Christmas tree culture, dairying, floriculture, forage, forest seedling and seed, fruit and vegetable, grain and oilseed, herb, horse rearing, horticulture, hybrid cottonwood/poplar/willow plantations, insects raised for biological pest control, livestock raising, medicinal plant culture, poultry and egg, seed, turf, wool, hide, feather or fur production, and the raising of crops or animals for human or animal consumption; but does not include: the production of manufactured derivatives from agricultural raw material, primary agricultural production for domestic consumption, the production of agricultural by-products, agricultural services, or the breeding and raising of pets, except horses. =============================================== Answers to this and other similar questions can be obtained free on Air every Sunday morning. 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