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Owen Sound MFTIP workshop a success!

Tuesday, September 26th 2006 8:33:07am

Strong turn out for workshop aimed at reducing property tax through forest stewardship

(Owen Sound, September 26, 2006)  Last night, 84 local land owners gathered at the Royal Canadian Legion in downtown Owen Sound to learn how to reduce the property taxes on their forested land by up to 75 per cent through Ontario’s Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP). The Ontario Forestry Association, with the support of the Trees Ontario Foundation, hosted the workshop. This is one of several workshops that will be held across the province from now until mid-November.

MFTIP is a voluntary program which provides significant property tax reductions for landowners who satisfy certain basic criteria such as having over 10 acres of forested land and a willingness to prepare and follow a forest management plan. Upon acceptance into the program, the forested portion of the property is re-assessed as managed forest and taxed at one-quarter of the residential tax rate in the following year.

Recent amendments by the McGuinty government in how privately held forested land is assessed has created renewed interest in MFTIP. These enhanced changes work toward fulfilling the MFTIP program’s goal of bringing greater fairness to the property tax system by valuing forested land according to its current use, while increasing landowner awareness about forest stewardship.

Monday’s workshop outlined how landowners can apply for MFTIP, set objectives for their property and plan and identify local resources to assist them in achieving their management goals. Those who attended came away with a greater understanding of how their forested land can influence the overall health of the province. Whether for recreational, wildlife or commercial interests, in the end these landowners will benefit from a reduced property tax rate, while playing a significant role in the future health of Ontario's private forests.

Rob Keen, Program Manager for Trees Ontario and one of the professional foresters assisting with the workshop, emphasized that these workshops are an important opportunity, “not only because the MFTIP program represents a simple way to reduce your annual property tax payments, but because it makes landowners take an active role in the direction of one of the provinces most prized resources. That’s something every Ontarian should care about.”

Mr. Keen also noted the attendance and contribution of representatives from the Ontario Stewardship Program, the Bruce Resource Stewardship Network, the Grey County Stewardship Network and both the Grey Sauble and Saugeen Conservation Authorities.

For those who missed the workshop, information about the MFTIP program and other workshop dates and locations is available at www.oforest.on.ca or by calling the Ontario Forestry Association at 1-800-387-0790.

The next workshop will be held tonight in Collingwood at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 63, 490 Ontario Street.

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For more information, contact:

Rob Keen
Program Manager, Trees Ontario Foundation 416.493.4565 or toll free, 1.800.387.0790 or email info@oforest.on.ca

Jonathan Laderoute
e|c|o media relations
416.972.7401

The Trees Ontario Foundation (TOF) is a non-profit foundation established in 1994 as an independent arm of the Ontario Forestry Association. TOF was formed with a mandate to promote and support tree planting initiatives in Ontario (www.treesontario.on.ca).

The Ontario Forestry Association is a non-profit, registered charity dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Ontario’s forests, and to developing stewardship of forest ecosystems. Visit www.oforest.on.ca.