Ontario Approves Equitable Tax Treatment For Horse Farms

Archived Release

Ontario Approves Equitable Tax Treatment For Horse Farms

Ministry of Finance

Equestrian Farms To Be More Accurately Taxed According To Use TORONTO, March 11 - The Ontario government today announced a new, more equitable tax assessment criteria for equestrian properties. "The new criteria for assessing horse farms represents an appropriate balance between fair treatment for horse farm owners and consistency with other types of properties," said Greg Sorbara, Minister of Finance. "We remain committed to continuing to work with MPAC to find further ways to improve the quality and consistency of property assessments in Ontario." At the beginning of February, the Minister of Finance directed MPAC to stop making further changes to the property tax treatment of equestrian properties, work with stakeholder representatives to develop appropriate criteria for assessing equestrian facilities, and report back with recommendations within 30 days. Under the new assessment criteria announced today: - Properties that are used for breeding, raising, maintaining and caring for horses will be treated consistently with other types of farm activities; - Properties that are used for trail rides and riding lessons will be treated consistently with other land-intensive recreational activities, like golf courses and ski hills, which are included in the residential class; and - Properties used for retail activities, such as tack shops, will be taxed at the commercial rate. The revised assessment criteria will be retroactive to January 1, 2004. "This is good news for equestrian farm owners, not only because the new assessment criteria will be more equitable for all concerned but because it recognizes the different land uses within our sector," said Marcia Barrett, Executive Director of the Ontario Equestrian Federation. "We also appreciate being involved in the quick and effective consultations that led up to this decision." "Ontario farmers provide unique and valuable services that contribute to our quality of life and we must be sensitive to their requirements," said Steve Peters, Minister of Agriculture and Food. "It is important that we recognize the different types of activities which are part of our agricultural community and treat them fairly." The criteria were developed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) in partnership with stakeholders to provide consistency, clarity and fairness to horse farm owners. Recent changes to the property assessment and tax classification of horse farms and equestrian facilities from either "farm" or "residential" to "commercial," resulted in significant tax changes for many establishments. Horse farm property owners with questions about how their individual property will be affected by these new assessment criteria can contact MPAC toll-free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722). Disponible en fran├žais For more information visit www.gov.on.ca/finFor further information: Contact: Michael Arbour, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4138; Manuel Alas-Sevillano, Ministry of Finance, (416) 212-2155