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Filer v. Maricopa County

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 4, 1948

FILER
v.
MARICOPA COUNTY et al

Appeal from Superior Court, Maricopa County; Edwin Beauchamp, Judge.

Affirmed.

E. S. Clark, of Phoenix, for appellant.

Darrell R. Parker, of Phoenix, for appellees.

Udall, Justice. LaPrade, J., concurs. Stanford (specially concurring).

OPINION

Udall, Justice.

Page 132

[68 Ariz. 13] R. D. Filer, appellant (plaintiff), brought an action against the County of Maricopa, the County Treasurer, and one William P. Lutfy, appellees (defendants), seeking to quiet his title to:

Lots Five (5) and Six (6), in Block One (1), of South Capitol Addition to the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona.

By their answer the county and its treasurer disclaimed any interest in or to said property. Appellee Lutfy, however, in addition to a motion to dismiss (which was denied) filed an answer alleging that by virtue of two tax deeds he was the owner in fee simple of said property and by cross-complaint asked that his title be quieted thereto. After a trial to the court, sitting without a jury, judgment was entered quieting appellee Lutfy's title on his cross-complaint, and denying appellant any relief whatsoever on his complaint. A motion for new trial was denied, and the matter comes now before us for review on appeal from the judgment and the order denying appellant's motion for new trial and refusing to permit the filing of an amended answer to the appellee's cross-complaint.

A tax certificate covering the lots in question was sold to the state of Arizona under a tax sale for the amount of $ 6.58 which included penalty, interest and fees, the sale resulting from the failure of appellant to pay the real property taxes on the lots for the year 1935. And it is through [68 Ariz. 14] this sale, the subsequent assignment to him of the certificate of purchase by the state of Arizona and the tax deeds subsequently issued by the county treasurer, that appellee Lutfy deraigns his title.

There is no evidence in the record, by tax receipt or otherwise, that the taxes for the year 1935 were actually paid to the treasurer. It is appellant's novel contention that as the treasurer had erroneously collected from him for each of the years 1930 and 1932 a $ 2.50 school tax under the provisions of Sec. 3185, R.C.A.1928, subsequently repealed by Ch. 100, Laws of 1935 (he being a non-resident of the state during those years and thus exempt from the payment of this poll tax), there then existed a sufficient credit in his favor with the county from which the 1935 taxes on the realty should have been paid. (The exact tax for the year 1935 is not shown, but the tax receipts in evidence do show that for the years 1926 to 1945 inclusive, the realty tax on these two unimproved lots ranged from $ 1.42 to $ 3.36 per year.)

We know of no authority or statutory rule, and none has been cited to us, by the provisions of which an overpayment of taxes in one year shall constitute a credit upon any taxes which may accrue in some future year, nor is there any duty imposed upon the treasurer to retain such an overpayment in a suspense account and apply the amount thereof to future taxes. Taxes are collected upon an annual basis, and for the moneys thus collected receipts are issued and a monthly accounting made to the Board of Supervisors. These funds are thereafter periodically apportioned. The county treasurer has no authority to refund taxes once he has issued receipts for the same except under lawful order of the proper authority. It is readily apparent, then, that as the 1935 taxes on appellant's realty ...


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