Relating to Real Estate
Owner of Property Must Pay All Outstanding Taxes to Redeem It Even Though an Interim Purchaser May Have Been Liable
In Pickett v. City of Frederick, No. 759, Sept. Term, 2014, unreported (Md.Ct.Spec.App. Oct. 6, 2015), the Court of Special Appeals held that the original owner of a property in Frederick, Maryland was required to pay all outstanding taxes on the property in order to redeem it, even though a significant amount of those taxes accrued during the time that a prior tax sale purchaser had been liable to pay those taxes.
The subject property was first sold at a tax sale in 2004 to Kathryn Afzali, and the Circuit Court for Frederick County issued an order on January 16, 2007 (the “2007 Order”) foreclosing the right of Allan Pickett, the property owner, from redeeming the property. Afzali did not comply with the 2007 Order; the taxes remained unpaid and continued to accrue. The 2007 Order was stricken by the circuit court on August 25, 2010, and the property was sold again at a tax sale on May 9, 2011. Then the tax sale certificate was purchased by the Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County and assigned to the City of Frederick.
In the present action, the circuit court determined that in order to redeem the property, Pickett needed to pay $30,131.34, which sum included the taxes due from 2005 to 2010. On appeal, the Court of Special Appeals held that although Afzali, the purchaser at the first tax sale, was responsible for payment of the taxes during the time after the 2004 tax sale, when the 2007 Order was stricken, matters reverted to their status as if the 2007 Order had never been entered. Afzali was no longer responsible for payment of the interim taxes, and Pickett was required to pay all outstanding taxes in order to redeem the property.
Therefore, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the order of the circuit court.
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