Chautauqua Mall Tax Assessment Once Again Decreased

The sign outside the Chautauqua Mall is pictured.

The new owner of the Chautauqua Mall is getting a break on the property’s tax assessment – but not nearly as big a break as was originally requested.

Earlier this year, Chautauqua Mall Realty Holding LLC, filed an Article 7 case in state Supreme Court seeking a reduction in the mall’s property valuation from $6 million to $670,000. After hearing arguments in the proceeding, state Supreme Court Justice Grace Hanlon ruled earlier this month that the mall’s new assessment be decreased to $4,020,000 through 2026.

“The assessor and all other relevant officers and authorities of the relevant taxing jurisdictions are hereby authorized to make and correct these assessments as outlined above on the appropriate books and records of each such jurisdiction,” Hanlon wrote.

If the town goes through a property reassessment, the mall’s property value will use a $6 million fair market value multiplied by the new town equalization rate for the year the revaluation happens. It is expected corrected tax bills will be issued for the 2023 tax season, though the town of Busti, village of Lakewood, Chautauqua County and Southwestern Central School District will refund any overpayment if the bill is paid before the tax roll is corrected.

The 2023 filing came after the town of Busti, village of Lakewood, Chautauqua County and the Southwestern Central School District had to reimburse the mall a percentage of taxes paid in 2020, 2021 and 2022 after the mall’s taxable assessment was decreased late in 2022. Court records show that in 2020 the mall’s assessment was $9,260,000, and that amount was reduced to $5,772,000. In 2021 the assessment was $9,260,000, and it was reduced to $5,592,000, and in 2022 the assessment was $9,260,000, and it has been reduced to $4,965,000. The 2023 tax assessment from the Busti tax assessor was $6 million — an amount mall officials said was too high even though the mall was purchased for $6 million in September 2022.

In the months since the latest tax assessment challenge, Dipson Theatres closed its Chautauqua Mall location. In its release, the company alluded to ongoing challenges and “circumstances beyond our control” as leading to the decision. Specifically, Dipson Theatres cited issues with a “leaky roof” within the theater at the Chautauqua Mall.


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