Sask. again grandfathers farm license plates

Saskatchewan farmers who aren’t able to get enough acres seeded this spring to qualify for their “F” (farm) plates will get to keep their designation for another year.

SGI, the province’s Crown auto insurer, had granted a farm plate eligibility exemption in 2010, set to expire next month, on June 1.

“However, with farmers throughout the province facing an unusually wet seeding period for the second year in a row, SGI has extended the exemption,” the province said in a release Tuesday.

Under normal circumstances, an individual or farm corporation wanting to license vehicles with farm plates must have seeded a minimum amount of crop each year.

“With spring seeding delayed across the province due to flooding, we recognize it may be a challenge for farmers to seed enough land to meet the requirement,” Tim McMillan, minister responsible for SGI, said in the release.

To get the exemption, a farmer must have licensed his or her vehicle with farm plates in 2010, must intend to continue farming in 2012, and plan to seed enough crop to qualify for farm plates next year.

The extended exemption is effective immediately and due to expire June 1, 2012.

Normally “F” plates are limited to vehicles owned by active farmers, active farm corporations, farmers winding down their farms or active farmers in the midst of diversifying.

Saskatchewan farm plates can be displayed on trucks, trailers and vans larger than “one-ton” models. The “F” designation provides lower registration fees and insurance premiums for most eligible vehicles.

For PST filers

Saskatchewan’s finance ministry on Monday also announced that eligible businesses affected by flooding can apply for relief from penalties and interest charges they may incur from late filings of provincial sales tax returns.

Affected businesses must submit a written request to the ministry, including the location of the business and details about the flooding that prevented them from filing their sales tax returns on time.

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