Lot Split in Wickenburg Sparks Confusion

  Question: We live in an older subdivision in Wickenburg. Each of the lots in this subdivision is at least 5 acres. The CC&Rs that govern our subdivision prohibit lot splitting. At the time that our subdivision was developed, the developer dedicated easements to Maricopa County for roads.

  We recently checked the county assessor’s map of our subdivision, and we learned that the county assessor two years ago “split” the lots to have separate tax-parcel numbers for the lots and for the roads. The county assessor’s explanation for this split was “as a courtesy to the taxpaying homeowners who should not pay real property taxes over dedicated easements for roads.”

  Does the county assessor have the right to go against the CC&Rs and do these splits? Can we make the county assessor “undo” these splits?

  Answer: The county assessor’s office cannot change legal rights to ownership of land.

  If the county assessor’s office split your lot into two or more parcels, that splitting does not affect your ownership of your lot and only correctly shows that you should not be paying property taxes on the property that you do not fully own — that is, easements for roads over your lot.

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