InTouch - April 2019
Review complete: small-scale on-farm business sub-classes
In 2018, the Government of Ontario introduced two new optional sub-classes for small-scale on-farm businesses to promote and support local farms across Ontario. The commercial and industrial sub-classes were created to provide a tax rate that is 75% lower than the commercial and industrial tax rates that would otherwise apply.

We recently completed a full review to determine which farms qualify for the small-scale on-farm business sub-classes. Approximately 250 properties were eligible for the new optional sub-classes which impact the 2018 and 2019 tax years. We mailed Special Amended Notices to these property owners on March 15, 2019, which included a letter explaining the recent changes to their assessment. If you have any questions, please contact a member of your local MPAC Municipal and Stakeholder Relations team .
Connect with MPAC up north this spring
We continue to work closely with you to understand the needs of communities in every part of Ontario. This spring, we are once again looking forward to connecting with municipal leaders at the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) conference , taking place in Thunder Bay from April 24 to 26, as well as the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference held in Sudbury from May 8 to 10. Drop by our booth or attend one of our information sessions and get to know MPAC – learn about Ontario’s property assessment and taxation system, ask questions about your property assessment base, and find out how we play a part in strengthening northern communities.
Cannabis facilities: industrial or agricultural?
Cannabis facilities are relatively new in Ontario. As the industry continues to develop, MPAC is reviewing the assessment and classification of these types of facilities based on differences in operations at each property.

Are cannabis facilities considered industrial or agricultural?
We’ve been hearing this question a lot lately, and in MPAC’s view the answer is “both.” The determination of a property’s classification is based on the property’s use and is driven by the facts at each site.

A property may be classified as industrial for locations that:

  • process cannabis similar to other pharmaceutical facilities
  • change the consistency of the plant into a more marketable product
  • are generally located in urban areas
  • have a licence for processing cannabis

A property may be classified as farm (or residential if the farm does not qualify for the farm tax class) for locations that:

  • are used solely for the growth and harvesting of the plant
  • are similar to other farming operations such as nurseries or tobacco
  • are generally located in rural areas
  • have a licence for cultivating cannabis

Assessment and classification based on use
At facilities where the growing and processing of cannabis is occurring on the same site, and where they have a licence for both cultivating and processing, the property may be classified as value-added farm. In this case, the land used for cultivating would be assessed as farmland and the buildings valued base on their design, for example as a greenhouse, warehouse, etc. The buildings used for cultivation and the land under the building would be classified as farm (or residential if the farm does not qualify) – whereas the building used for processing and the land under the building would be classified as industrial. Stay tuned for further updates.