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P.E.I. cuts farm building assessments

Farm buildings used to produce pork, beef or potatoes on Prince Edward Island will get an immediate 25 per cent depreciation in their assessment for tax purposes, the province announced Thursday.

“We’ve been hearing many producers are having a tough time,” said provincial treasurer Wes Sheridan in a release. “We’re aware there has been a real impact on the market value of farm buildings, and we’re pleased to provide some measure of relief to hard-working Island producers.”

Farmers can also apply for assessment reductions for any farm buildings that can no longer be used for their original purpose, the province said.

Any adjustments will be applied to the current year’s assessment, the province said. Before the second instalment is due at the end of August, the province will send out a revised summary of property charges to the property owners whose assessments are reduced. A credit will then be issued on the taxpayer’s account.

The decision stems from a recently-completed review of farm building assessments across the province, as requested by Sheridan and by Ag Minister Neil LeClair.

As part of the review process, Tax Commissioner James Ramsay consulted with the P.E.I. Lending Authority and a number of farm groups and also looked at how the depreciation issue is being handled in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

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