KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


October 10, 2013

Progress in school tax equality comes to a grinding halt

As farmers across the province receive their 2013 school tax rebate applications, which also contain information on the new $5,000 cap placed on each rebate, it once again becomes apparent just how inequitable the system of collecting school taxes is, said Keystone Agricultural Producers president Doug Chorney.

The rebate was meant to compensate for the fact that farmers pay education taxes on all of their farmland holdings, and not just on their residences like other Manitobans do. The rebate had started at 20 per cent, went up over the years to 80 per cent, and the provincial government had promised in the last election campaign that it would go up to 100 per cent.

“This promise has never materialized, and instead, money was taken away in last  spring’s provincial budget," said Chorney. “The rebate cap, along with shorter rebate application deadlines and complete termination for out-of-province landowners, is expected to reduce the monies in the program by $6.2 million – equivalent to reducing the rebate to 68 per cent.”

It will affect all farmers, he pointed out, but in particular it will make it difficult for many young farmers – those who have borrowed substantial amounts of money to increase the size of their operations as investments in the future of agriculture. In addition, the ending of the rebate for out-of-province landowners will drive up rates for rented land.

“Furthermore, as information is being made public, we see that the cap uses land ownership – corporate versus sole proprietorship – to determine whether a farmer can apply for a rebate on jointly owned land.                                                                                                                                           

“Many farm families have created corporations to address succession issues, and this should not be part of the equation. It’s one more flaw in an already-flawed system – including  the antiquated concept that school taxes should be collected on farmland, the use of a rebate to try and fix it, the clawback of that rebate through a cap, and the fact that larger farms will be affected more by the cap.”

Keystone Agricultural Producers has long called for an overhaul of the school tax system that would remove school taxes on farmland and buildings, eliminate the need for rebates to farmers, take education out of the provincial agriculture budget, and create equality for all Manitobans.

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For more information:
Doug Chorney, president – 204-785-3626
Val Ominski, communications – 204-697-1140 (ext. 3)