Disabled veteran in Arizona may lose home over $236 in back taxes.

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An AZ veteran thought his taxes were paid. Then his home was sold at auction.

July 15, 2019 - 3:27 pm
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By Ben Krimmel

Jim Boerner thought the taxes on his home were paid. Then he got a knock on the door and told his home no longer belonged to him.

"I said, 'What are you talking about?... This has got to be wrong,'" he told The Arizona Republic's Rebekah L. Sanders. "Had I known I was in peril of losing my home, I would have paid it in full."

Boerner, a 49-year-old disabled veteran, believed he had been accepted to a program with Maricopa County which would reduce property taxes for people with disabilities and limited income. Boerner is on a limited income after he suffered spinal and brain injuries during a 1991 training exercise at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. 

But he wasn't accepted. And because under Arizona law mobile homes, like Boerner's, are considered personal property there wasn't a two-year period to pay back taxes like with single-family homes. Instead, his house went up for auction almost as soon as he was late on his tax payments.

The amount that was owed? $236. 

"It's difficult. It’s just difficult," Boerner told The Arizona Republic. "I love my home. I love my neighbors.

"This was my nest egg, you know? That's why I paid cash for it. This is where I was going to retire. And now I don't have that assurance anymore."

At the auction, Boerner's home sold for $4,400. The buyer, who purchased the home under a business, told Boerner he would settle for $30,000, which is close to the price Boerner originally paid for the mobile home and more than Boerner could afford. And after the buyer and Boerner disagreed, the buyer told The Arizona Republic he is no longer willing to sell. 

Officials have scrambled to find loopholes, but there may be nothing they can do, the paper reports. Eviction proceedings may begin soon.

If kicked out, Boerner told the paper he doesn't know where he will go.

The buyer "could come at any time and tell me, 'Time to get out,'" Boerner said.

Boerner told the paper the stress about a possible eviction is mounting.

"It's emotional. It's frustrating," he said. "It's maddening I could lose my home over $200."

Per The Arizona Republic: Offers of help or encouragement can be sent to Boerner through his attorney, Curtis Ensign, at curtisensign@cox.net or 602-266-3300.

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