Fact Sheet: Farm Forestry Exemption
March 09, 2023
What you need to know: The basics
- The Farm Forestry Exemption (FFE) is a tax exemption designed to protect wooded areas. Farmers with a farm property or farm property holdings with wooded areas not used directly in the farm operation may qualify for the FFE.
- Previously, the tax exemption applied to one acre of forested land for every 10 acres of farmland and could not exceed 20 acres in any one municipality.
- In the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Province stated its intent to increase the limit on the tax exemption for farm woodlots from 20 to 30 acres to keep pace with the growth of farm sizes.
- The changes were enacted with the Bill 43 amendment to section 3(1)19 of the Assessment Act to allow the Minister of Finance to prescribe a higher number of acres. O. Reg 230/22 was filed to increase the acreage maximum per farm property owner in a municipality from 20 to 30 acres, effective January 1, 2023.
- MPAC is responsible for completing the calculation and determining the allowable amount of this exemption.
What this means for property owners
- As a result of this legislative change, property owners may qualify for a tax exemption on up to 30 acres of forested land in any one municipality. Eligible farm properties may require changes to classification or tax liability.
- Property owners that will have an increase to their property's eligible FFE acreage will receive a Special Amended Notice (SAN) from MPAC in March 2023, indicating a change to the property’s eligible acreage and classification. All properties eligible for an FFE will receive a Property Assessment Notice in December 2023, effective for the 2024 property tax year.
- To improve transparency with property owners, the FFE assessed value will now appear on property assessment notices. The municipality will not charge property tax on the assessed value shown as “Exempt.”
- Property owners will receive a Frequently Asked Questions insert with their Notice, which explains changes to the FFE. They can also access their FFE calculation and see the information MPAC currently has on file for their property by visiting mpac.ca and logging in to AboutMyProperty.
- For more information about this process, property owners can also call our Customer Contact Centre at 1-866-296-6722 (toll free) or 1-877-889-6722 (TTY), Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).
- There are more than 220,000 farm properties in Ontario.
- More than 89,000 properties have an FFE.
- 380 Ontario municipalities have at least one property with an FFE.
- Approximately 21,650 properties will receive a SAN in March 2023 indicating a change to the property’s eligible acreage and classification.
- All properties with an FFE will receive a Property Assessment Notice at year-end for the 2024 property tax year.