Administrative Services Talks Mortgage Taxes

MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County saw a slight increase in the amount of mortgage taxes it received this year.

The Administrative Services Committee discussed the distribution of mortgage taxes among municipalities in the county on Tuesday night in Mayville.

From April 1 to Sept. 30, the total amount of mortgage taxes collected was $768,373.46, slightly higher than last year’s.

Chautauqua County Real Property Tax Director Jim Caflisch said there was not a whole lot of change and that it was a normal average, slightly higher due to interest rates rather than additional home sales.

The amount is to be distributed among 42 towns and villages, plus the cities of Dunkirk and Jamestown. Dunkirk will receive $43,589.13, while Jamestown will receive $88,900.96.

The committee also discussed the amendment of a local law providing for a management salary plan for employees under the titles of Deputy Director of Finance and Purchasing Manager, which used to have different names.

Both titles were placed in the salary range of $43,131-$66,053, effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.

Lastly, a local law was discussed regulating pawnbrokers and precious metal and jewelry exchange dealers. The purpose of the law is to establish licensure and appropriate oversight, making the Director of Chautauqua County Office of Weights and Measures the licensing authority.

“It’s an added level of protection for consumers and business owners,” attorney Kurt Gustafson said.

A background check will be conducted by the sheriff’s office on all applicants for licenses to determine eligibility to be a pawnbroker or precious metal and jewelry exchange dealer.

A pawnbroker is defined as any person or business establishment who holds goods as collateral on short-term, high-interest loans. A precious metal and jewelry exchange dealer is a person or business engaged in the business of sale, purchase or exchange of precious metals and/or jewelry for other objects of value.