Ranchers and livestock producers in 52 census subdivisions across BC will be able to take advantage of the federal government’s livestock tax deferral program for 2019.
Regions eligible in BC include southern Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and much of the central Interior from the coast to the Alberta border.
“[The] provision allows livestock producers in prescribed drought, flood or excess moisture regions to defer a portion of their 2019 sale proceeds of breeding livestock until 2020 to help replenish the herd,” explains a statement accompanying the list of eligible regions. “The cost of replacing the animals in 2020 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale.”
Regions eligible for coverage under the provision must experience forage shortfalls of 50% or more caused by drought or excess moisture.
The list of regions is the shortest since 2016, when just six areas were declared eligible. However, the list for 2015 was the longest of the past five years, enumerating 123 eligible census subdivisions.
Underscoring the persistence of the weather woes acing BC farmers and ranchers, this year’s list includes several familiar names. Alberni-Clayoquot subdivisions A, B, D and F have qualified in four of the past five years as have Cariboo subdivisions A, B, C, J and K.
“In addition to the livestock tax deferral provision, producers have access to assistance through existing Canadian Agricultural Partnership business risk management programs,” the government adds.
These are under review, however, with a view to improvements. BC agriculture minister Lana Popham has taken a particular interest in reforming the AgriStability program and has vowed to push the issue forward at the federal-provincial-territorial minister’s meeting this summer.