The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is very pleased Bill C-208 passed in Canada’s House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

“The passing of this bill in the House is good news for producers in Saskatchewan and across the country,” said APAS President Todd Lewis. “For too long, it’s hasn’t made sense that it’s cheaper to sell your farm to a stranger than to your son or daughter.”

Bill C-208 will amend the Income Tax Act, making it more affordable for producers to sell their farms to a family member instead of selling to a non-family member.

Right now, when a producer sells their farm to a family member, the sale is considered a dividend between the original purchase price and the sale price. However, if the producer sold their farm to a non-family member, the sale would be seen as capital gain, which is taxed lower than a dividend.

APAS estimates 95% of Saskatchewan farming operations are family-owned and operated. The number of producers nearing retirement is increasing, and many of these family farms want to transfer their assets to a family member to maintain the farm as a family operation.

APAS sent a submission to the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Finance on March 4 expressing its support for the bill.

“Bill C-208 represents an opportunity to address this longstanding inequity that has negatively impacted the transition plans of family farms in Canada,” Lewis said in March.

Bill C-208 will now move to the Senate of Canada, and APAS wants Canada’s senators to recognize the importance of this bill and its potential positive impacts for the country’s agricultural sector.