In view of the many inquiries regarding the collection of taxes in Cattaraugus County, our office has prepared this pamphlet in an effort to promote better understanding of the operation of the laws pertaining to the assessment and collection of taxes.
Prompt payment of your taxes will save you interest and the collection costs.
There have been various changes in the laws and practices of collection over the recent years. It is my firm hope that this guide will help save you unnecessary costs in the payment of your taxes.
The staff in the County Treasurer's Office is always willing to be helpful to you with the information and explanations that you desire.
Matthew J. Keller
TOWN AND COUNTY TAXES
Town and county taxes are levied by the Board of Legislators on January 1, and are due and payable without interest by January 31st at the places designated by the Tax Collectors of the various towns and in the City of Olean at the office of the City Clerk. Any property owner not receiving a bill by the early part of January should contact the local collector.
In February, 1% interest is charged and 2% in March. (Current rate is 1% per month.) When unpaid taxes are returned to the County Treasurer on April 1st for collection, a 5% fee is added to the original tax, and interest is charged on the combined total. Rates are set by the State in the Real Property Tax Law and are subject to change.
Advertising of unpaid taxes for the current year is published in August. The amount advertised is the original tax plus fees, interest and advertising expense up to October 31st.
Unpaid taxes are filed as Delinquent in the Cattaraugus County Clerk's Office November 1st. The property can be redeemed at any time during a period of 2 years after the tax became a lien by paying all accumulated taxes, interest and other costs and penalties. THIS REDEMPTION PERIOD WAS MODIFIED AND IS APPLICABLE AS OF JANUARY 1, 2017.
After expiration of the 2-year redemption period, the County Treasurer will proceed to foreclose the County's unpaid tax liens by Action In Rem under Article 11, Title 3 of the Real Property Tax Law.
Note: Current year unpaid Town and County Taxes are not added to the next year's Town and County Taxes. Only unpaid School, Village and City Taxes will be relevied onto the following Town and County Tax. If more than one year Town and County Tax is owing, they can be paid simultaneously or in reverse order. Older taxes cannot be paid before newer taxes.
School, Village and Olean City Taxes The fiscal year of School Districts begins on July 1, ends on June 30, and tax due dates vary according to school districts. Tax rolls are to be completed by September 1st.
The Village fiscal year begins June 1st and Village taxes become due and payable at that time.
Olean City Taxes are payable May 1st to October 31. Village taxes typically are payable June 1st to October 31, and School taxes typically are payable September 1st to October 31, all to the local collectors as found on the tax bills.
If School, Village or Olean City Taxes are not paid on time to the Collectors, fees are charged according to the month of delinquency. After October 31, the unpaid taxes are turned over to the County to be relevied, with additional penalties, onto the next Town and County tax. These taxes are then payable to the Town/City Tax Collectors in January with the Town and County Tax.
CITY OF SALAMANCA
The information in this pamphlet does not apply to the City of Salamanca. Under their Charter, the City enforces collection of County, School and City taxes without turning them over to the County for collection or enforcement.
ASSESSMENT and TAXES
Assessment rolls in Cattaraugus County are prepared by the Assessors in the various towns and in the City of Olean by the City Assessor. Town and County taxes are calculated from the assessment and the tax rates (which are based on budgets).
We do not have information on future tax bills. You may create an estimated tax bill (based on the most recent rates) using the Interactive Parcel Map.
Property is assessed to the Owner(s) of Record. Therefore, when property ownership changes, the deed should be recorded in the County Clerk's Office as soon as possible. If property ownership changes after March 1, tax bills will be sent to the prior owner until the new assessment roll reflects the change of ownership. New owners should, therefore, check with local collectors to learn the amount due to avoid paying additional interest.
Tentative assessment rolls are filed May 1st with the various Town Clerks and are open for inspection. Grievance Day, or the day upon which to register complaints, is usually the 4th Tuesday in May, unless the Town Board authorizes the Assessor to set a different date. Final assessment rolls are filed by the Assessors with the Town Clerks by July 1st.
No change of name, address, description or valuation can be made on the tax rolls by the County Treasurer's Office or any of the collecting officials, as the assessors are the only ones who have that authority.
For a current list of assessors and collectors along with their phone numbers, see the Real Property and GIS Services website.