Arizona Sells Disabled Vet Jim Boerner’s Home Over $236 Tax Debt

Indri Schaelicke | @ISchaelicke

A disabled vet is close to losing his home after it was auctioned off by the Maricopa County Sherriff’s office. Jim Boerner, a veteran disabled in an Air Force training exercise in 1991, learned of the sale of his home when a Deputy knocked on his door. He was informed that he owed $236 in taxes but was confused as he thought he had paid them off.

Bureaucratic Mess

Because he is disabled, Boerner is unable to fill a traditional job. He fixes guitars to earn a living but applied to a county program that reduces taxes for people with low income. The veteran says he received two postcards confirming his acceptance to the program but no longer has them. The County Assessor’s office stated that they have no records of his registration with the program.

Further complicating the situation is the confusing language of the local tax code. If Boerner lived in a single-family home, he may not be losing his home. Arizona law states that single-family homeowners have five years to pay back taxes before the possibility arrives. But Arizona has different rules for mobile homes, which are considered personal property. These types of homes may be auctioned as soon as tax payments are late.

The County made a recording of a conversation between Boerner and several county employees.

“There’s nothing serious you would need to be worried about as far as the home being in any danger or anything like that,” a county call center employee told him. He was transferred to a Sheriff’s Office employee when he asked what the bill was. “Are they going to kick me out between now and June 30?” Boerner asked. “I would imagine not. I would always advise paying as quickly as you can, but I don’t see anything in my comments saying they’re going to,” the employee replied.

Public Responses

The unfortunate man has gained the support of many. County Treasurer Royce Flora personally offered to pay $15,000 to buy the mobile home back from the buyer. Many libertarians see this as a prime example of how taxation is theft, as the County is seizing his home in punishment for his not paying taxes. Others see this as a normal function of government but still remain sympathetic.


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