Managed Forest or Conservation Land
If your property, or part of your property, is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as being managed forest or conservation land, we will assess its value according to the approach we use for those types of properties.
Reading your Property Assessment Notice
You'll receive a Property Assessment Notice every four years unless there is a change. Learn how to read the Property Assessment Notice for your managed forest or conservation land.
How your managed forest or conservation land is assessed
Your property, or part of your property, must first be approved by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as being managed forest or conservation land. Learn how to apply for approval below.
Once your property is approved as either a managed forest or conservation land, we will assess it accordingly, as outlined below.
Assessing managed forests
We assess your managed forest based on regulated rates per acre, developed by using the assessed values of woodlots on properties within a similar neighbourhood. For example, farm neighbourhoods have similar soil characteristics and the farms within them sell for similar prices.
How the regulated rates work
There are three key values used to calculate the property value of your managed forest:
1. Regulated rate
- The regulated rate is set by the Ministry of Finance for different acreage amounts in your municipality.
2. Highest limit = current value assessment (CVA) for the remainder of the property
- If your managed forest parcel sits on other property that you own, the highest possible value for the managed forest is the assessed value of the remainder of the farm, residential, etc., property that it sits on—i.e. everything that is not the managed forest parcel.
- If your entire property is managed forest parcel, the highest-possible value will be based on the predominant property type for the area.
3. Lowest limit ("floor value") = 31% of residential CVA
- The lowest-possible value MPAC will assign to the land is 31% of the highest value.
- The floor value is legislated by the Province.
How these values work together
Your managed forest's assessed valuation can never be higher than your CVA or lower than 31% of your CVA.
- If the value calculated using the regulated rate falls between the highest value and the floor value, then that value is used as the assessed value for your woodlot.
- If the regulated rate’s value is higher than the highest value (the CVA), your woodlot's assessment value will be the property's CVA.
- If the regulated rate’s value is lower than 31%, your assessed value will be 31% of the CVA, but no lower.
Example 1: 50 acre managed forest parcel on farm
Regulated rate: In this example municipality, the regulated rate per acre = $552/acre.
- Value using regulated rate = $27,600 ($552/acre x 50 acres)
Highest limit: The woodlot is 10% of a farm with a CVA of $600,000.
- Value using highest value = $60,000 (10% of $600,000)
Lowest limit: 31% of highest.
- Value using lowest limit = $18,600 ($60 000 x 31%)
The value using the regulated rate sits between the highest and lowest limits, so that is the valuation for the property.
Example 2: Regulated value higher than high limit
Using example 1, if the regulated rate for the same parcel was $1,500, then the value using the regulated rate would be $1,500 x 50 = $75,000.
In this case, since the value calculated with the regulated rate is higher than the highest limit of $60,000, the assessed value of the woodlot is capped at $60,000.
Example 3: Regulated value lower than lowest limit
Using example 1, if the regulated rate for the same parcel was $100/acre, then the value using regulated rate would be $100 x 50 = $5,000.
In this case, since the value calculated with the regulated rate is lower than the lowest limit of $18,600, the assessed value of the woodlot is set at $18,600.
This assessment approach for managed forests was developed in consultation with stakeholders including:
- Forests Ontario (formerly the Ontario Forestry Association)
- Ontario Woodlot Association
- Conservation Ontario
- Association of Municipalities of Ontario
Assessing conservation lands
We establish the current value assessment of your conservation land property by comparing the sale prices of similar conservation land properties. If only a portion of your property is approved and classified as conservation land, the value of the conservation land is based on the rate per acre of the conservation land's portion of the entire property.
Programs to reduce your property taxes
Programs administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) and the Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (CLTIP) are programs administered by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program
This program is designed to encourage stewardship of forests, and offers a substantial reduction in property taxes to eligible property owners.
Find out if your property is eligible and apply through Ontario.ca's Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program page.
Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program
If a portion of your land has important natural heritage features, it may qualify for the CLTIP. Under the CLTIP, your tax for that portion of land may get a 100% property tax exemption.
Find out if your property is eligible and apply through Ontario.ca's Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program page.
How these programs work
- You must apply to these programs to have your property, or a portion of your property, approved for classification as managed forest or considered tax-exempt conservation land.
- If your property is eligible, the MNRF will approve your application and inform us of the classification change to your property, or part of your property, to a managed forest or tax liability as conservation land (depending on what you have applied for and been approved for).
- We will update your property's classification or tax liability in our system.
- We will assess the value of your property according to the updated classification of your property.
- We will inform your municipality of the updated property value.
- Your municipality will apply the appropriate tax rate or exemption according to the MFTIP and/or CLTIP programs respectively.
If your property is approved to be classified as either managed forest or conservation land between our Assessment Update years (which happen on a four-year cycle), then:
- We will update the classification or tax exemption of your property in our records.
- We'll reapportion and reassess your property.
- We'll then notify your municipality of the change in your property value and classification or tax liability.
- Your municipality will adjust your property taxes accordingly.
- The portion of your assessment that applies to managed forest and/or conservation land is shown on your assessment.
- The CLTIP relief does not apply to your buildings or other improvements and associated land on which they sit.
- The MNRF approves increases and decreases in eligible acreage.
If your conservation land is removed from the program for any reason, MPAC will change the tax liability attributed to the conservation land portion from exempt to taxable. These reasons may include:
- an ownership change
- severance to the original property
- notification from the MNRF
Automatic exemptions and subclasses
The Farm Forestry Exemption (FFE) and the small-scale on-farm business subclasses are proactively applied by MPAC. Read more about qualifying for farm tax programs.
Section 3.(1)25. of the Assessment Act
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) – Ontario.ca/MNRF
Niagara Escarpment Commission - www.escarpment.org