Chautauqua County residents who are behind on their taxes won’t have their properties put up for auction this summer as previously planned.

During the legislature’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, members voted to extend the tax redemption date from June 18 to Nov. 1. The change still needs the approval of the full county Legislature; however, the state Legislature has already moved tax foreclosures from May 1 to Aug. 31.

“What that means is, similar to before, if we were to proceed with the foreclosure proceedings that started in 2020 we would have to send notifications of the hardship provisions to the remaining delinquent taxpayers. Those who are in residential properties and in most commercial properties would have the ability to file a hardship form … which would postpone the foreclosure,” explained Stephen Abdella, county attorney.

Chautauqua County had planned on holding a tax auction Aug. 21, but when the state moved the tax foreclosures, that made that auction unfeasible.

The new tax auction likely won’t happen until June 2022 and would be for three years’ worth of properties.

Todd Button, deputy director of finance, was disappointed by the state’s decision. “The bottom line is that this further delay in being able to get this foreclosure done is making the whole situation worse,” he said.

Button called the move by the state a “fiscal catastrophe” because the county is going to have to have an auction for properties that are three, four and five years behind on taxes.

“Once we know we’re going to have an auction we’re going to probably have a revised projection on what our gain/loss is going to be because it’s not going to be good. There’s not a lot we can do. We’re under the thumb of the downstate people,” he said.

The Administrative Services Committee unanimously passed the motion to delay the tax foreclosure. The full legislature will vote on it next week.

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