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Uxbridge MFTIP workshop a success!

Tuesday, October 3rd 2006 9:57:42am

Over 100 turn out for workshop aimed at reducing property tax through forest stewardship


(Uxbridge, October 3, 2006)  Last night, local residents packed the main branch of the Uxbridge public library, standing room only, 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, prepare a forest stewardship plan and identify local resources to assist them in achieving their management goals. Those who attended came away with the knowledge and tools to properly manage their forest, whether for recreation, wildlife habitat or forest products. In the end, these landowners will benefit from a reduced property tax rate, while playing a significant role in the stewardship of Ontario's private forests.

Ron Wu-Winter, with the Ontario Forestry Association, emphasized that these workshops are an important opportunity, "not only because the MFTIP program represent a simple way to reduce your annual property tax payments, but because it ensures the proper stewardship of Ontario's forests. That's something every Ontarian should care about."

Mr. Wu-Winter noted the attendance and contribution of representatives from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Durham Land Stewardship Council and York Environmental Stewardship.

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 Lindsay at the Main Branch of the Lindsay Public Library, 190 Kent Street West, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

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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
416.972.7401

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.

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).