2021 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 7 - Taxation
Article 38 - Administration and Enforcement of Property Taxes
Section 7-38-48 - Property taxes are a lien against real property from January 1; priorities; continuance of taxing process.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 7-38-48 (2021)

A. Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, taxes on real property are a lien against the real property from January 1 of the tax year for which the taxes are imposed. The lien runs in favor of the state and secures the payment of taxes on the real property and any penalty and interest that become due. The lien continues until the taxes and any penalty and interest are paid. The lien created by this section is a first lien and paramount to any other interest in the property, perfected or unperfected. The annual taxing process provided for in the Property Tax Code shall continue as to any particular property regardless of prior tax delinquencies or of pending protests, actions for refunds or other tax controversies involving the property, including a sale for delinquent taxes.

B. No lien is created pursuant to Subsection A of this section if:

(1) the tax otherwise creating the lien is not due for the current tax year or the immediately preceding property tax year;

(2) the tax otherwise creating the lien is the result of real estate improvements that were omitted from property tax schedules in a prior year and listed and billed pursuant to Section 7-38-76 NMSA 1978; and

(3) the current owner was not the owner at the time the improvements were omitted and had no actual notice that the improvements were omitted.

History: 1953 Comp., § 72-31-48, enacted by Laws 1973, ch. 258, § 88; 1974, ch. 92, § 18; 2003, ch. 95, § 3.


Cross references. — For property tax liens on mobile homes, see 7-38-52 and 66-3-204 NMSA 1978.

The 2003 amendment, effective June 20, 2003, added the Subsection A designation and, in Subsection A, inserted "Except as provided in Subsection B of this section" at the beginning; and added Subsection B.

Tax liens attach to the interest of the vendee in a conditional sales contract, but terminates if the interest of the vendee is terminated through forfeiture or otherwise. MGIC Mortgage Corp. v. Bowen, 1977-NMSC-108, 91 N.M. 200, 572 P.2d 547.

Lien arises by operation of law. — The lien under this section arises by operation of law and is not dependent upon a filing of notice of lien for its creation and effect against purchasers. Cano v. Lovato, 1986-NMCA-043, 105 N.M. 522, 734 P.2d 762, cert. quashed, 105 N.M. 438, 733 P.2d 1321 (1987).

Lien not governed by recording act. — A tax lien is not within the class of written instruments governed by Section 14-9-3 NMSA 1978, relating to effect of unrecorded instruments. Cano v. Lovato, 1986-NMCA-043, 105 N.M. 522, 734 P.2d 762, cert. quashed, 105 N.M. 438, 733 P.2d 1321 (1987).

County treasurer has no authority to enforce property tax lien. — A county treasurer does not have the authority to file suit to enforce a personal obligation of owners of real property for the collection of delinquent property taxes. The intent of the legislature is to place the authority to enforce the personal obligation provision of Section 7-38-47 NMSA 1978 and the authority to proceed against property subject to a statutorily created tax lien in the taxation and revenue department only. Colfax Cnty. v. Angel Fire Corp., 1993-NMCA-015, 115 N.M. 146, 848 P.2d 532.

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