A recent article in the Washington Post chronicled the plight of an upscale San Francisco community, which failed to pay its common area property taxes, and the savvy investors who took advantage (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/08/residents-of-an-exclusive-san-francisco-street-didnt-pay-their-taxes-so-someone-bought-their-street/?utm_term=.f35a82ccda43).
We are aware of Arizona communities who have faced similar issues. All property owners in Arizona (including individual parcel owners and community associations who own common areas) who are subject to property taxes, could potentially lose their property pursuant to a tax lien foreclosure if they fail to keep the property taxes current. This can be a very costly and time consuming oversight to correct.
Similar to the San Francisco community referenced in the article, the most common reasons we see for failing to pay taxes is a lack of awareness that the taxes are owed and/or that the taxes are past due. Take the following steps to ensure that your community does not fall victim to tax lien problems: (1) ensure that your community’s mailing address on file with the County Treasurer (http://treasurer.maricopa.gov/) and County Assessor (https://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/assessor/assessor.php) is up to date (if the tax bill is being sent to the incorrect address, you are far more likely to fall behind); (2) regularly check the tax status of your common area parcels with the County Treasurer; and (3) if you are unsure of the tax status of your common area parcels, immediately contact your community association attorney for assistance.