The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is teaming up with the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA), the Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan (APAS), and the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) to ensure that the concerns of rural Saskatchewan are heard as it relates to the Federal Government’s proposed changes to the taxation of private corporations. The proposed changes will impact all Canadians who use private companies, including family businesses.
The partnering organizations understand the Federal Government’s intention to level the playing field to ensure that the Canadian tax system is not unfairly benefitting the wealthiest Canadians; however, this change could have adverse effects on farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across Saskatchewan and the rest of the country.
“98% of Saskatchewan farms are family owned, and incorporation is an important tool for transferring farms between generations and saving for future investment,” said APAS President Todd Lewis. “We are very concerned about the future of our family farms if these changes go ahead.“
“These proposals, if implemented, make it more difficult to keep family farms and ranches within the family as generations turn over,” explained the Chair of SCA Ryan Beierbach. “They will also make it more difficult to manage risk on farms that incorporated to include more family members in the business. There needs to be a way to achieve the government’s goals without negatively affecting cattle producers and all of agriculture,” Beierbach stressed.
“Additionally frustrating”, said SSGA President Shane Jahnke, “is that the Federal Government has scheduled the public consultation period for the proposed changes to run from July 18th until October 2nd of this year.
“This timeframe coincides with the busiest time of year for agricultural producers,” he added. “Farmers will be busy harvesting and ranchers will be putting up feed, weaning calves and shipping — these are not the sorts of things producers can readily put aside in order to make their concerns known to government officials. At the very least the government should consider extending the consultation period until early 2018.”
The organizations will work with other like-minded groups and experts in the field to clearly articulate to the Federal Government the negative impacts these proposed changes would have on many Saskatchewan farm families and business owners.
“The agriculture industry and small business are critical to the sustainability of rural Saskatchewan,” stated Ray Orb, President of SARM. “Rest assured that SARM is investigating the matter and will ensure that rural concerns are brought to the attention of the Federal Ministers of Finance and Agriculture.”