Benefits of Classifying BC Farmland and How to Do So

When you purchase land that you plan to use for farming purposes, going through the process of officially classifying it as farmland has important benefits. While this is a voluntary program, classifying your property as farmland can lead to lower assessments and property taxes. When you’re looking for farmland for sale in BC, keep the following information in mind about classifying it.

Qualifying Land

In order to be classified as farmland in BC, properties have to meet certain requirements. Land that is used for certain types of agricultural use, such as raising livestock or producing fruits and vegetables, can usually be classified as farmland. Land that is used as a farmer’s dwelling or land that is used for purposes related to agricultural use, such as irrigation, also generally qualifies as farmland. Other types of properties that may qualify for farmland classification include land in agricultural land reserves (ALRs) that is used as a dwelling for retired farmers and vacant land that is associated with a farm in certain circumstances. Property owners should keep in mind that there are other requirements for farmland classification that they’ll need to meet.

Partial Farm Use

When a property only has certain areas used for farming and other areas used for other purposes, the classifications will differ. The parts of the property used for farming can be classified as farmland, while land used for other purposes will be classified based on usage. When land on a property does not have any present use and is in an ALR, it might be classified as farmland if part of it is used for this purpose. For land that isn’t in an ALR, land that isn’t in use might be able to be classified as farmland if part of it is used for farming and meets other requirements, such as not being zoned for commercial use or other purposes.

Applying for Farmland Classification

In order to classify a property as farmland, you will need to complete and submit either a General Application for Farm Classification form or a Retired Farmer’s Dwelling Land Application. These forms must be submitted to a BC Assessment office in your area by October 31st. Keep in mind that your land must continue to meet the requirements for farmland classification year after year, and you’ll need to submit your form every year. As part of the classification process, you will need to supply sales receipts that show your farm gate amount. This amount can refer to the value of agricultural products, livestock insurance payments, crop insurance payments or the dollar value of your direct farm sales.

Purchasing Classified Farmland

When you buy a property that is already classified as farmland, you will need to submit a form to BC Assessment. The General Application for Farm Classification form must be submitted by October 31st. If you decide not to use the land for farming, you should let BC Assessment know.

Contact Us About Farmland for Sale in BC

If you’re looking to purchase farmland in BC, please contact Cascadia Pacific Realty today. Our real estate team can provide you with expert guidance on finding and purchasing farmland property that fits your needs.