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Municipalities urged to stress need for fair taxation of cannabis grow operations

July 25, 2018

Over the last year, AUMA has been a leading voice in pushing for the fair assessment and taxation of cannabis grow operations. AUMA was the first to formally identify an oversight in the Matters Relating to Property Assessment and Taxation Regulation (MRAT) that could see industrial-scale grow operation buildings go untaxed.  As this issue has still not been corrected, AUMA is calling on members to stress the need for changes to their local MLAs.

One of the major changes from the Municipal Government Act review was the phase-out of all taxation for farm buildings in urban municipalities over five years. Currently, the MRAT Regulation fails to explicitly state that major cannabis grow operations are not an agricultural use, leading to concerns that municipalities may be unable to tax them fairly. The classification of industrial-scale cannabis grow operations as agricultural would be inappropriate given their large size, intensity of use, and major municipal servicing requirements.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs recently reiterated his support for addressing this issue in a meeting with AUMA, but needs assistance from municipalities in stressing the importance of changes to the provincial Cabinet and Premier. AUMA members are urged to share the need for this important clarification with the Minister and their local MLAs.