The Ontario Divisional Court heard a "stated case" from the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (the "Tribunal") concerning the appeal of property tax assessments of various properties. The applicants had appealed on the basis that they should have been assessed in the farm property class under Section 8(2) of Regulation 282/98. The questions on the stated case to the Divisional Court boiled down to whether lands that are beneficially, but not legally, owned by Canadians, qualify for farm property class. In general, a property is legally owned by the named registered owners of the property; other individuals or entities may hold unregistered equitable ownership interests in the property. The Divisional Court concluded that the favourable tax treatment applies only to lands legally owned by Canadians.
The properties at issue in this case were purchased for commercial investment purposes by Walton International Group Inc. They are currently being used for farming, but the long-term plan is to develop them for non-farming purposes.
Read the decision at: Walton International v. Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program.