Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Representative Thorpe on disabled veteran who lost his home because he was late paying his taxes

NEWS RELEASE 
Arizona House of Representatives 
Representative Bob Thorpe (R-6) 
1700 West Washington ⚫ Phoenix, Arizona ⚫ 85007-2844 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Representative Thorpe: We Must Look Out for Our Homeless and Vulnerable Populations 
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX –Representative Bob Thorpe (R-6) today released the following statement on looking out for homeless and vulnerable populations: 
“On June 28, just 6-days before our patriotic Independence Day celebration, a disabled American veteran lost his home because he was late paying his taxes. Although legal, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office sold his mobile home out from under him even though he was only a few hundred dollars behind in his 2018 property taxes. Currently, mobile home property tax lien sales can occur much quicker than those for traditional homes. This is one of many issues that will be addressed at my Mobile Home Stakeholders meeting to be held on July 11 from 10 am to 4 pm at the State House. 
Homelessness is not only immoral, it is also expensive. It has been estimated that each homeless individual can cost society between $35,000 - $45,000 annually. Los Angeles and San Francisco have seen dramatic increases in homeless individuals and the size and number of their encampments, with associated outbreaks of disease and rat infestations. It is therefore in all our best interest to keep people in their homes, especially our most vulnerable disabled and elderly citizens and our veterans. Whether living in a mobile or a traditional home, our fixed-income seniors shouldn’t have to decide whether to pay their property taxes instead of buying food or prescriptions, or paying their summer air conditioning utility bills. 
With our 4th of July celebration in mind, the Declaration of Independence states that ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ However, in an earlier draft, Thomas Jefferson instead used John Locke’s trinity of rights, that of ‘life, liberty, and property.’ 
Our nation’s Founders recognized the importance of private property ownership. Jefferson’s early draft implied that private property ownership was an individual right given by God, a right that could not be taken away or denied. The negative impacts of not 
being allowed to own private property is evident in the rampant poverty of our citizens currently living on the federally-controlled lands within our Native American nations. 
Sometimes, a mere $50 can mean the difference between an individual or family being forced to live on the streets. I call upon our veterans and elderly assistance advocates to please contact and partner with their local county assessor’s offices with offers of financial help for our most vulnerable citizens. 
I also call upon our law enforcement and government agencies to enact internal rules that help keep people living within their homes, for example, by helping them better manage their personal finances, referring them to groups and agencies for assistance, and by extending the timeframe prior to a property tax lien sale. 
My thanks especially go to Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora and his chief deputy Russell Pearce for their tireless work advocating for our fixed-income seniors and this disabled American veteran.” 
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CONTACT: 
Matthew Specht 
Director of Communications 
House Republican Caucus 
602-926-5518 
mspecht@azleg.gov