Tax Incentive Available for Managed Forests in Ontario

Forest lands are an important  resource for all Canadians and much of it is privately owned.  If you own four hectares (9.88 acres) or more of forestlands in Ontario, you may be eligible for the Ontario Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), a program managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  The program is designed to increase landowner awareness about forest stewardship and to bring greater fairness to the property tax system by valuing forestland according to its current use.

The landowners who apply and qualify for the program may have the eligible portion of their property classified and assessed as Managed Forest under the Managed Forests Property Class. The eligible land is taxed at 25 percent of the municipal tax rate set for residential properties.

The property must be owned by a Canadian Citizen or Permenant Resident, a Canadian Corporation or a Conservation authority. The property must have one municipal roll number and have a specified number of trees.  Residences, landscaped and residential use areas of the property are not eligible as part of the forest lands and at least one acre will be deducted from the calculation if the property contains a residence.

Land licensed under the Aggregate Resources Act (or zoned as gravel pits) and government owned lands are not eligible for the program.  Golf courses, campgrounds or ski hills are usually not eligible, although there are some exceptions.

When you apply for the program, you will include a Managed Forest Plan.  The Plan must reflect activities planned for the next ten years and include a long range plan for 20 years. The plan must then be approved by a Managed Forest Plan Approver, an individual certified by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

Details and requirements regarding the Ontario Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) can be found online at http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Forests/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_166346.html.  Please check with the Ontario Ministry of Resources for the most current eligibility and guidelines.

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