County’s Corner

Thank you to our County Assessor, Jeanne Kentch, for last month’s article highlighting the importance of the upcoming Census, especially in rural communities across the US. Predominantly the Census will be delivered by mail, however the responses for the census will be accepted via online portal, mail or by phone. Every response counts!

As a reminder, 2019 property tax statements will be mailed out prior to October 1, 2019. 1st half tax payments for real and personal property become delinquent on November 1st.  There are some exceptions to this delinquent date based on the amount of the property tax and if you plan to pay your property taxes in full by December 31. For more information regarding property taxes, please visit http://www.mohavecounty.us under the Treasurer’s webpage.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  On May 3, 2019, the Governor of Arizona signed Senate Bill 1033 (SB1033) into law which changes how Property Taxes are billed to owners with mortgaged properties. SB1033 deals withproperty that is valued by the County Assessor and subject to taxation by the County Treasurer.  It is specific to (1) mortgaged property and (2) the mortgagee (Lender/Bank) pays the Property Taxes on behalf of the mortgagor (Owner/Borrower).

SB1033 requires that for any mortgaged property subject to taxes being paid by the lender, the homeowner will receive a printed statement of taxes due on the property.

One of the paragraphs in this new law refers to the following:  When a property owner has fully repaid their mortgage and the bank continues to possess or receive tax statements from my office, the bank is now obligated to return the tax statement to my office or forward it to the property owner. If a lender fails to do so, the lender is liable to the property owner for all associated interest and penalties imposed.

WHAT THIS CHANGE MEANS TO YOU:  Most lenders require taxes to be escrowed as part of the loan agreement and handle payment of these taxes for the borrower. If you have a mortgage on your property that pays Property Taxes on your behalf (Escrowed Funds), you most likely have not received a Property Tax Statement in the past. That is because the loan holder (Lender/Bank) sends a list of properties it will be paying Property Taxes on owners’ behalf and my office deals directly with the loan holder.

For any questions that arise regarding the annual tax statement, mortgagors (Owner/Borrower) should reach out to their respective mortgagee (Lender/Bank) for clarification. 

Most importantly, remember that you are ultimately responsible for paying your property taxes, regardless of whether or not you receive a tax statement in the mail. While SB1033 does impose additional communication requirements on your bank/lender, it does not relieve you of your Property Tax responsibilities as a property owner.

Shifting gears, the Temporary Satellite Offices will be open in both Bullhead and Lake Havasu Cities from October 28 through November 1.  More information on hours and locations will be announced and on our website as we move closer to those dates.

Lastly, if you are receiving the service level you expect from my office, please let me know.  If the service level you receive is not what you expect, please let me know.  Your Mohave County Treasury Team is here to serve you at the highest level of customer service in all interactions.

Please look forward to next month’s article from the Mohave County Sheriff, Doug Schuster.