The Canadian government has announced a new livestock tax deferral program which covers some, but not all, major cattle areas within the country.
Although both the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) agree it’s a good start, neither believe it will cover everyone who needs the program.
“Livestock producers in large areas of Saskatchewan are being forced to consider the sale of livestock due to poor pastures, lack of hay and water due to drought,” explains APAS president Todd Lewis in a news release. “The areas that are eligible for the 2018 Livestock Tax Deferral do not include all of the affected producers.”
Meanwhile Rick Toney, chair of the SCA, agrees, “droughts never follow RM boundaries.” He goes on to say this happens quite regularly, and the SCA is hoping the federal government will take into account the people that are missed.
The program allows cattle producers to defer a portion of this year’s sale proceeds from breeding stock until next year. This allows them to sell cows when they are short of feed and buy them back when conditions improve without facing onerous tax implications. When they replace the cows in 2019, it will simply offset the deferred income.
Provinces included in the list are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec. The designated regions authorized to get the tax benefit are all areas deemed to have excess moisture conditions or drought, but follow municipal boundaries, which is the source of the criticism.
Toney says, the SCA is also advocating with other cattle associations across Canada for the government to consider using a producer-initiated program.”The producer should be the one to tell you how much rain he’s had an hasn’t received — and you’d know that by his sales.”
He says the government would easily be able to decipher if the producer had drought or not by a simple investigation into the person’s property. Toney adds that that way the all producers are covered by the tax program, and no one would be left with nothing.