By Connor Lynch
Prince Edward County is offering a tax break to new and young farmers in light of rising land prices.
This makes the county one of the first to offer farmers any property tax relief, an issue the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has lobbied for two years by meeting with county councils across the province.
The tax credit of $300 or up to a maximum of 20 per cent of the property tax bill is for young farmers between the ages of 18 and 39, or farmers who’ve started farming in the last seven years. The tax credit also only applies to full-time farmers.
When MPAC — a Crown corporation that assesses land values in Ontario every four years — released its 2016 farmland assessments, many farmers hit the roof. Ontario land prices rose on average by 16 per cent. In Prince Edward County they increased by an average of 33 per cent. That would mean a subsequent jump in property taxes that had many farmers crying foul as the corporation phased in those assessment increases over four years.