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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

OMAFRA Analyst Says Huron County Should Hold The Line On Farm Taxes

Huron County | by Peter Jackson  

Senior Farm Policy Analyst Rob Lefort says properties assessed too high, causing higher-than-expected tax rates.

The Huron County Federation of Agriculture and the province's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs wants the County to hold the line on farm taxes.

During a recent appearance before County Council, OMAFRA Senior Farm Policy Analyst Rob Lefort called for an adjustment of the farm tax ratio to 22.3 per-cent of residential taxes.

The County has been looking at an increase to 25 per-cent of residential taxes.

Lefort says farm tax rates have skyrocketed in Huron over the past seven years, and now farmers face the highest taxes they have ever paid on their land.

He notes that market value of farmland far outpaces the value of the commodities they produce.

Lefort points out that property assessment is driving the spike in property tax levies on farmers, and that lobbying the province for change will take a long time.

In his presentation to Council, Lefort showed figures released by 14 Ontario jurisdictions including Lambton County, where the farm tax ratio is under 25 per-cent.

Staff have been directed to produce a report on the issue, to be reviewed by County Council during budget deliberations.

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