The number of farm properties in the province has dropped, according to BC Assessment data released this week.
The number of farm properties on the 2024 tax roll is 50,565, down 1% from 51,066 properties last year. The aggregate value is nearly $1.3 billion.
BC Assessment deputy assessor Peter Alexander, who focuses on farm properties, said legislated assessment rates for valuing farmland means the roll’s value changes little from year to year.
Alexander also cautioned that current year figures are not directly comparable to previous years, due to the parameters applied each year.
However, in 2020 and 2021, the roll had nearly 53,000 farm properties with an assessed value of $1.3 billion.
While the province waived the need for producers to requalify for farm class status during the pandemic and following the heat done of 2021, this changed with last year’s roll.
Property owners affected by last summer’s wildfire were encouraged to contact BC Assessment last fall, but Alexander said extreme weather appears to have had little impact on valuations this year.
“We have not received a significant number of inquiries on farm properties where extreme weather events have been reported to impact operations,” he says.
The number of farm properties is different from the number of farms in the province, as a single farm may use several properties, each holding farm class status for assessment purposes.
The residential portion of each farm falls within the residential class, which accounts for 88.5% of all assessments in the province. These properties saw their values shift within a range of plus or minus 5% versus a year ago as high interest rates moderated demand for housing and in turn market values.