PROPERTY ASSESSMENT APPEAL BOARD
B.C. Reg. 411/95 Deposited September 29, 1995
O.C. 1208/95
 

Assessment Act

 
 

STANDARDS FOR THE CLASSIFICATION

OF LAND AS A FARM REGULATION

[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 438/97]

Contents

1. Interpretation
2. Application of this regulation
3. Application for classification of land as a farm
4. Classification of land as a farm
5. Gross annual value requirements
6. Exception to requirement for sale of primary agricultural products
7. Classification of leased land
8. Classification as a developing farm
9. Ancillary operations
10. Reporting requirements
11. Declassification
SCHEDULE A
Interpretation
1. In this regulation
"December 31" means December 31 of the year preceding the year for which the assessment roll is completed;
"developing farm" means a farm classified in accordance with section 8;
"farm gate price" means the price received by the producer
(a) from the sales of primary agricultural production as evidenced by
(i) receipts for those sales,
(ii) the appropriate local price or prices shown in the farm price guide issued by the commissioner, or
(iii) statements from crop and livestock insurance payments,
(b) in the case of livestock
(i) the live weight price received for livestock but not including the killed or dressed prices,
(ii) the live weight price applied to the weight gained by livestock while being raised on the farm, or
(iii) the difference between the purchase and sale prices of each animal raised on the farm, and
(c) in the case of horticultural crops that are purchased and transplanted or moved to the farm for further growth, the difference between the purchase and sale prices of the crops;
"farm" means an area of land classified as such by the assessor;
"farmer's dwelling" means a dwelling which is
(a) located on or adjacent to the farm, and
(b) occupied by a person who is actively involved in the day-to-day activities of that farm;
"gross annual value" means the monetary worth of primary agricultural production based on a 12 month period ending October 31;
"land" includes land covered by water;
"lease" means a written agreement for the rental of all or part of one or more parcels of land;
"livestock raising" means
(a) the rearing of domesticated animals for
(i) the production of food for human or animal consumption,
(ii) wool, hide, feather or fur production, or
(iii) breeding stock for purposes listed in paragraphs (i) or (ii), or
(b) horse rearing;
"medicinal plant culture" means to grow and cultivate plants used to cure disease or to relieve pain;
"October 31" means October 31 in the year preceding the year for which the assessment roll is prepared;
"packing house" means a structure used for the cleaning, sorting, grading, packing or storage of primary agricultural products;
"primary agricultural production" means a use of land for agricultural purposes as approved by the commissioner, following consultation with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and listed on Schedule A of this regulation;
"rearing" means the breeding or raising of animals for sale;
"unrealized value" means
(a) in relation to primary agricultural production other than livestock raising, the value of the primary agricultural production that has been produced on the farm in the 12 month period ending October 31 that has not been sold but is available and offered for sale or held for sale the following year, or
(b) in relation to livestock raising, where livestock has been raised for food for human or animal consumption on the farm in the 12 month period ending October 31 and has not been sold but is available and offered for sale or held for sale as food the following year,
(i) the increase in value attributable to weight gain of livestock raised for sale, or
(ii) the estimated value of livestock born and raised for sale based on the current farm gate price.

[am. B.C. Reg. 343/96, s. 1; 438/97, s. 1.]

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Application of this regulation
2. This regulation will be used to determine farm classification for assessment purposes for the 1998 and subsequent taxation years.
Application for classification of land as a farm
3. (1) The application for classification of land as a farm must be delivered to the assessor on or before October 31 in the form prescribed by the Assessment Commissioner.
(2) When ownership changes, the assessor may require the new owner to submit an application.

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Classification of land as a farm
4. (1) Unless this regulation provides otherwise, the assessor must classify as farm all or part of a parcel of land used for
(a) primary agricultural production,
(b) a farmer's dwelling, or
(c) the training and boarding of horses when operated in conjunction with horse rearing.
(2) Land will only be classed as farm where part of a parcel or parcels of land are
(a) necessary to the farm, and
(b) predominantly used for primary agricultural production.
(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), where land is part of a farm that lies within an agricultural land reserve designated under the Agricultural Land Commission Act and has no present use, the assessor must classify that land as a farm if
(a) it is part of a parcel, a portion of which is used for primary agricultural production, and the portion used for the primary agricultural production makes a reasonable contribution to the farm operation,
(b) the owner certifies on the prescribed form that the land is being held for the purpose of primary agricultural production, and
(c) the parcel being used for primary agricultural production meets the other requirements of this regulation.
(4) A farm operation is comprised of all or part of a parcel or group of parcels of land
(a) contiguous or not,
(b) owned, or leased in accordance with section 7, and
(c) operated as an integrated unit.
(5) A farm operation comprised of parcels of land within different assessment areas will only be classed as farm where the assessor is satisfied that each parcel is
(a) necessary to the farm, and
(b) predominantly used for primary agricultural production.

[am. B.C. Reg. 343/96, s. 2; 438/97, s. 3.]

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Gross annual value requirements
5. (1) Despite section 4, the classification of land as a farm requires the production of primary agricultural products on the farm by the owner or lessee in either the 12 month period ending October 31, or in the preceding 12 month period, having a gross annual value at farm gate prices of at least
(a) $2 500 if the area of land is between 8 000 mē and 4 ha,
(b) $2 500 plus 5% of the actual value of the land for farm purposes in excess of 4 ha, if the area of land is more than 4 ha,
(c) $10 000 if the total area of land is less than 8 000 mē, and
(d) despite paragraph (c), $2 500 if the area of land has been reduced to less than 8 000 mē as a result of expropriation but only if the land remains in the same ownership.
(2) Despite subsection (1) (c), if land is classified as a farm in 1995 and if the gross value of production is less than $10 000, the land will continue to be classified as a farm so long as
(a) the total area of the owned parcel or parcels is less than
8 000 mē,
(b) the land remains in the same ownership,
(c) the assessor is satisfied that the owner earns the greater part of his livelihood from the sale of primary agricultural products produced on the land, and
(d) the land meets the other requirements of this regulation.
(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), the sale of primary agricultural products from the farm must occur during each 12 month period ending October 31.
(4) In determining the gross annual value, the assessor must
(a) consider only the value of primary agricultural production which takes place on the farm, and
(b) include any unrealized value of primary agricultural production grown or raised on the farm in the 12 month period ending October 31.

[am. B.C. Reg. 343/96, ss. 3, 4.]

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Exception to requirement for sale of primary agricultural products
6. Despite section 5, if primary agricultural production from the land is not sold but is produced in sufficient quantities to have met the gross annual value requirements if it had been offered for sale, the assessor may classify the land as a farm if the primary agricultural production is grown and harvested for processing for sale or to be used in the preparation of manufactured derivatives to be made available for sale within 12 months after October 31.

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Classification of leased land
7. (1) In the case of leased land, a copy of the lease document must be submitted to the assessor on or before October 31 in order for the land to be classified as a farm.
(2) The lease document must contain the names and signatures of the lessee and lessor, the legal or other well defined description of the land being leased, the commencement date, the signing date, the duration of the lease, the lease area, the intended use of the leased land and the consideration for the lease.
(3) To be classed as a farm the leased land must
(a) be used for primary agricultural production and make a reasonable contribution to the farm operation, and
(b) be 8 000 mē or greater except if
(i) the land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), and
(ii) despite section 4 (3), the land is used for primary agricultural production.
(4) Despite section 5 and section 7 (1), in the case of leases of Crown land issued after October 31, the assessor must classify all or part of the land as a farm if
(a) the application form referred to in section 3 is delivered to the assessor on or before December 31, and
(b) the assessor is satisfied that the farm meets the other requirements of this regulation.

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Classification as a developing farm
8. (1) Despite section 5 (1), (2) and (3), the assessor must classify land not yet in production as a developing farm if the assessor is satisfied the land is being developed as a farm and the application form referred to in section 3 shows that on or before October 31 the following conditions will be met:
(a) in the case of products produced from primary agricultural production that
(i) require less than one year after planting before harvesting occurs, there is a sufficient area prepared and planted to meet the requirements of this regulation on or before October 31 of the following year,
(ii) require 1 to 6 years to establish after planting before harvesting occurs, there is a sufficient area prepared and planted to meet the requirements of this regulation when harvesting occurs, and
(iii) require 7 to 12 years to establish after planting, there is a sufficient area prepared and planted to meet the requirements of this regulation when harvesting occurs and the assessor determines that there is a reasonable expectation of profit from farming,
(b) in the case of livestock, poultry, greenhouse or mushroom operations that require 1 year to establish before sales occur,
(i) the necessary buildings, structures and fencing are completed,
(ii) the required livestock and poultry are purchased and present, and
(iii) the assessor is satisfied that the farm will meet the requirements of this regulation on or before October 31 of the following year, and
(c) in the case of aquaculture operations that require 2 years to establish before harvesting occurs,
(i) the buildings and structures are completed as required to meet the minimum gross annual value level for the farm,
(ii) the land is seeded, planted or stocked as required to meet the requirements of section 5 when production and sales occur, and
(iii) the assessor is satisfied that the farm will meet the requirements of this regulation on or before October 31 of the year that production and sales occur.
(2) The owner or lessee must submit with the application form for approval by the assessor a development plan and site diagram which includes location and details of the crop to be planted, area, date of planting, expected yield, selling price and date of harvest.
(3) Despite subsection (1) (a), the assessor must classify land as a developing farm if the following conditions are met:
(a) the required area of land is prepared for planting on or before October 31,
(b) the development plan shows that the crop will be planted by the spring of the year following application,
(c) the assessor is satisfied that a viable farm will be established in accordance with the requirements for that crop based on sound agricultural practices, and
(d) the developing farm will meet the requirements of this regulation when harvesting occurs.
(4) When the farm meets the gross annual value requirements of section 5 of this regulation, the farm will no longer be classified as a developing farm under this section.

[am. B.C. Reg. 343/96, s. 5.]

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Ancillary operations
9. (1) This section applies despite other provisions of this regulation.
(2) Land, but not improvements, used for a packing house as part of a farm operation will be classed as a farm if
(a) any authority having jurisdiction over the use of that land has regulated the use of that land to permit the growing and raising of crops, and
(b) more than 50% of the primary agricultural products which are cleaned, sorted, graded, packed or stored in the packing house are grown or raised on that farm operation.
(3) Land, but not improvements, used for a packing house as part of a farm operation will be classified as a farm if
(a) any authority having jurisdiction over the use of that land has regulated the use of that land to permit the growing and raising of crops,
(b) it was used for a packing house as part of a farm operation in 1997, and
(c) more than 10% of the primary agricultural products which were cleaned, sorted, graded, packed or stored in the packing house in 1997 was grown or raised on that farm operation.
(4) Subsection (3) is repealed on January 1, 2003.

[en. B.C. Reg. 438/97, s. 4.]

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Reporting requirements
10. (1) Before or after the completion of any assessment roll the assessor may require the following information:
(a) reporting from the owner or lessee to ensure that the farm continues to meet the requirements of this regulation;
(b) additional information from the owner or lessee, including receipts or copies of lease documentation, in support of farm classification.
(2) Notice to provide information must be sent by mail or served personally by the assessor.
(3) The owner or lessee must provide the information to the assessor within 21 days from the receipt of the notice or a longer period as specified in the notice.

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Declassification
11. The assessor must declassify all or part of a parcel of land as a farm if
(a) the owner or lessee fails to submit information as required by the assessor under section 10, or
(b) one or more of the following occurs on or before October 31:
(i) the land ceases to be used for primary agricultural production;
(ii) the new owner fails to submit a farm application form on or before October 31 as required by the assessor under section 3;
(iii) the land does not meet the use and other requirements of section 4;
(iv) the land does not meet the production and value requirements of section 5;
(v) the land where primary agricultural products are not sold but are grown and harvested for processing for sale or to be used in the preparation of manufactured derivatives does not meet the requirements of section 6;
(vi) the leased land does not meet the requirements of section 7;
(vii) the owner or lessee does not follow a development plan approved by the assessor under section 8;
(viii) the land used for the cleaning, sorting, grading, packing or storage of primary agricultural products does not meet the requirements of section 9;
(ix) despite paragraph (a) and paragraphs (b) (i) to (viii), the land fails to comply with this regulation.

[en. B.C. Reg. 438/97, s. 5.]

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SCHEDULE A

[am. B.C. Reg. 343/96, s. 6.]

PRIMARY AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

For the purposes of farm classification under the Assessment Act, primary agricultural production is:
aquaculture
apiculture
Christmas tree culture (plantation and cultured native stand)
dairying
floriculture
forage production
forest seedling and seed production
fruit and vegetable production
grain and oilseed production
herb production
horse rearing
horticulture
hybrid cottonwood/poplar plantations
insects raised for biological pest control
livestock raising
medicinal plant culture
poultry and egg production
seed production
turf production
wool, hide, feather or fur production
the raising of crops or animals for food for human or animal consumption
but does not include:
(i) the production of manufactured derivatives from agricultural raw materials,
(ii) primary agricultural production for domestic consumption on the farm,
(iii) the production of agricultural by-products,
(iv) agricultural services, or
(v) the breeding and raising of pets, except horses.
[Provisions of the Assessment Act, RSBC 1996, c. 20, relevant to the enactment of this regulation: section 23 (3)]
 
 
NOTE: This regulation replaces B.C. Reg. 298/85.