While farms elsewhere in Canada have expressed concern about the implementation of carbon taxes, greenhouse growers in BC are giving thanks for another year of tax relief.
The province will accept tax relief applications from greenhouse vegetable and flower growers with sales in excess of $20,000 in 2018 and with a production area greater than 4,900 square feet (455 square metres) until March 29, 2019.
The long-standing program originated as a temporary measure in 2012, promising $7.6 million in grants to offset the effects of BC’s carbon tax. It became permanent the following year, and recent years have seen the sector receive more than $10 million a year in relief.
The model has been successful enough that it’s served as a model for targeted relief built into the federal carbon tax initiative.
Without the relief, the cost of greenhouse-grown produce would be out of line with prevailing market prices. This could push growers out of business, diminishing local food security.
Growers of greenhouse-grown cannabis are not eligible for tax relief under the BC program. While it is a legitimate crop on agricultural land, cannabis has not available for most forms of government support. Greenhouse production is also limited to existing structures, with the province favouring field-grown cannabis for all new farms.