There are more farm properties worth more money in BC this year than there were two years ago.
The tax roll unveiled this week by the BC Assessment Authority includes 52,073 farm properties with an assessed value of $1.29 billion as of the valuation date of July 1, 2020. This is up from approximately 51,000 farm properties worth $1.25 billion two years ago.
Of course, many properties holding farm status command a higher price at sale as the buyers value them not as farm properties but as development sites. However, the regulations governing the valuation of farms result in a lower value for the purposes of the roll.
To obtain farm status, and the tax advantages that accompany it, the property must be actively farmed and meet certain revenue thresholds (agricultural properties that have yet to enter production may also qualify).
But in view of the significant revenue hit many farms took during the COVID-19 pandemic, the province announced last summer it would allow properties to retain their existing farm status until 2022. This resulted in the number of farm properties on this year’s role remaining relatively even with last year, dropping by just 23 properties.
BC Assessment typically handles 200 applications each year for farm class status. All new applications must meet the income thresholds and other requirements to be classified as farms.
Property owners have until January 31 to appeal their property’s valuation.