KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


April 18, 2012

Budget yields little for farmers: KAP

Doug Chorney, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, said that while Tuesday's provincial budget contained some good news, overall there was little in it for Manitoba farmers.

" Although all of rural Manitoba, I'm sure, welcomes the increase in funding to road and bridge repairs due to last year's flooding, I'm disappointed there wasn't much specifically for producers," he said.

One of the biggest disappointments, Chorney noted, was that there was no increase in the school tax rebate on farmland – which means that farm landowners will continue to pay a 20 per cent tax bill on all land.

A new tax, the one on unmarked (purple) gasoline, also concerns Chorney.

"I hope this isn't a sign of things to come – that farmers will slowly be taxed on miscellaneous items, and that these taxes will eventually amount to a substantial portion of their incomes.

"I'm expecting there will be some accountability with regard to this new tax, and that in the coming years it will continue to go toward rural road repairs – and not into general revenues."

Chorney observed that the only new program announcement for farmers is a nutrient management tax credit to assist in the implementation of advanced nutrient management practices that comply with new regulations.

"I welcome this assistance, but the kind of practices we're talking about require huge investments in infrastructure and equipment – and the $300,000 set aside for tax credit s is, unfortunately, a drop in the bucket."

He said this new tax credit is offset by the dropping of another important incentive – the riparian tax credit that assisted farmers in protecting shorelines of streams and other water bodies running through their properties.

"This is very disappointing to us – we wanted to improve the program, not kill it."

Chorney said the decrease in Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives budget is also troubling, since this could mean a decline in key services offered to producers.

"Only time will tell – and we will be watching this development as well as other effects of the budget over the coming months," he said.

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For more information, please contact:
Doug Chorney, president: 204-785-3626
Val Ominski, communications co-ordinator: 204-697-1140

Keystone Agricultural Producers is Manitoba's largest general farm policy organization, representing over 7,000 farm families and 22 commodity groups throughout the province. Our strength is our democratic structure, and our mission is to represent and promote the interests of the province's farm families.