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State’s lien system is a tool to fix problems

David Schweikert

David Schweikert

I often miss my time in the Maricopa County Treasurers Office, and last week was one of those times.  Arizona’s newspaper of record published a story about legislation affecting a portion of Arizona property tax lien system.

Our lien system is one of the few tools that a Treasurer’s Office has when working with taxpayers and investors to fix problems. There are thousands of parcels around our state that need their deeds cleaned up. Some of these come from bad recordings, errors in legal descriptions, and a litany of mistakes with the occasional fraudulent subdivision from many years ago.

A property tax lien foreclosure is one of the tools to fix these frequent problems. By being the senior most lien, it extinguishes all junior liens, and therefore serves to clean most title issues. Arizona has very complex property tax mechanics, and its lien system can often feel byzantine.  However, treasurers and the state Legislature should be encouraging the use of these tools to resolve problems in our communities — not punish those who step up and help. Individuals like Wayne Howard (who’s been a friend most of my life) should be seen as part of the solution.

– U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican, represents  Arizona’s 6th Congressional District.

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