December 2, 2019
Tax incentives available to owners of woodlot properties in Chatham-Kent
Not only is preservation of woodlots and tree cover beneficial to the environment, but it can also help your bank account.
South Kent Councillor Clare Latimer said, “I think it’s important those homeowners who have small and/or large woodlots who may be considering expanding and/or diversifying their properties are aware of available financial incentives to do so. It’s a “win win opportunity and represents justified financial rewards for our local environmental champions who want to do their part to support our community endeavours to implement long term sustainable “positive” climate actions!”
Latimer said her desire to inform the public about the importance of woodlots is shared by a number of councillors including her South Kent council colleagues Anthony Ceccacci and Trevor Thompson.
A recent report to Chatham-Kent Council requested by West Kent Councillor Mark Authier provided details on a number of tax reduction and incentive programs available to Chatham-Kent residents.
In the Farm Forestry Exemption Program, one acre used for forestry purposes for every ten acres of farmland (up to 20 acres) can be exempt from assessment, and subsequently property taxes. The program is administered through Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). For more details on the program visit https://www.mpac.ca/PropertyTypes/ManagedForests
The provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry operates the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program. In this program, landowners who own 9.88 acres or more of forested land on a single property may apply to have their property classified as “Managed Forest” and pay 25% of the municipal tax rate set for residential properties (in Chatham-Kent, this would be 3% more than a farm property since the farm ratio is currently 22%).
Participants must prepare and follow a 10 year managed forest plan that details how the owner will manage the forest responsibly. The plan requires approval of a Managed Forest Plan Approver certified by the MNRF. Owners need to submit a five-year progress report and update the forestry management plan every 10 years to remain in the program.
For details on the program, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/managed-forest-tax-incentive-program
The same ministry operates a Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program in which portions of a property that have eligible natural heritage features may qualify for a 100% property tax exemption.
To qualify, the ministry must identify the property to be
- Provincially significant areas of natural and scientific interest
- Niagara Escarpment Natural Areas within the designation “Escarpment Natural Area”
- Habitats of endangered species
- Provincially significant wetlands approved by MNRF
- Community Conservation Lands (restricted to non-profit charitable conservation organizations and conservation authorities)
This is a 100% exemption from tax. For more details visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/conservation-land-tax-incentive-program
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624
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