The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program is a voluntary program for landowners who own a minimum 9.88 acres of forested land. Landowners who get their property classified as a ‘Managed Forest’ are eligible to save 75% of their municipal property taxes annually.
How To Apply for MFTIP
To apply, landowners must hire a Managed Forest Plan Approver to prepare or assist in the preparation of a 10-year Managed Forest Plan for the property that outlines specific objectives and how they will be achieved. Eligible objectives include, but are not limited to, recreational use, wildlife protection and monitoring, timber management and collection of non-timber forest products. Examples of eligible activities can range from very simple activities that you are likely already doing like going on regular hikes and keeping a log book of animal observations or gathering firewood from your property sustainably, to more intensive forest management activities like planting trees or thinning them.
Any dwelling or out-building on the property will be subject to a deduction of 1 acre and that acre will be taxed at the regular municipal rate. Structures used for forest management do not apply e.g. a sugar shack for maple syrup production or a shed to store fuelwood or forestry tools. If buildings are spread apart by more than one acre, then each building will be subject to a one-acre deduction.
The deadline for new plans is June 1st. Landowners typically see a reduction in taxes the following taxation year (after January 1st). The plan is written with a 20 year horizon for setting objectives and monitoring results and is effective for 10 years. After 10 years the landowner must report on activities as they pertain to the objectives stated in their plan and if they want to remain in the program, have an approver submit a plan renewal.