August 16, 2004

Manitoba extends, enhances riparian tax credit

An extension and enhancement of Manitoba's riparian tax credit introduces new types of land eligible for the program and will increase benefits to farm operators, as well as providing a longer benefit period. Water Stewardship Minister Steve Ashton said the tax credit will be expanded to include lakeshore property in the types of land eligible for the program.

"Last year, the riparian tax credit was expanded to include land along the Red and Assiniboine rivers. This year we have made further enhancements by adding lakeshore property such as Lake Winnipeg to the types of land eligible for the program. The riparian tax credit now directly deals with the important issue of the environmental health of lakes," he explained, adding that the program will be extended for another year.

Other changes include lengthening the benefit period from three years to five and increasing the benefits for crop land from $2 to $10 per riparian acre per year; for grazing land with no agricultural activity from $7 to $14; and for grazing land with haying from $5 to $10.

"The new incentives announced today will further encourage the elimination of tillage and the limitation of grazing by livestock on lands adjacent to our waterways," Ashton said. "Better management of this land will improve water quality and reduce emission of greenhouse gases."

The program offers property tax credits in return for good management of riparian zones. These sensitive lands bordering waterways are important for preserving wildlife habitat, maintaining water quality and buffering against the effects of droughts and floods.

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