Phoenix City Council candidate owed $350,000 in unpaid federal income taxes before run

Harry Curtin.
Taylor Seely
Arizona Republic

Three years before running for Phoenix City Council, a candidate was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to the federal government for not fully paying income taxes and facing the potential loss of his property.

Harry Curtin, an entrepreneur running to represent District 6 in the central Phoenix, Arcadia and Ahwatukee areas, owed about $350,000 in income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service between 2014 and 2017, according to an IRS document.

In 2019, the IRS placed a lien on Curtin's property, which would have included his Paradise Valley home. A lien is a claim against a person's property for not paying a debt — in this case, federal income taxes.

A month before the federal lien, the state had placed another lien on his property for failing to pay state income taxes in three separate years. 

The Arizona Republic previously reported that Curtin owed about $17,000 to the Arizona Department of Revenue and the state attorney general sued for payment last year. 

Previously: Phoenix council contender sued over outstanding income taxes

Documents show Curtin and his wife sold their 4,300-square-foot Paradise Valley home for $2.3 million in October 2021. They had purchased the home for $1.2 million in 2011. 

Curtin said he used a portion of the home sale to pay the taxes. A few weeks later, the federal and state government liens were released. 

Curtin said he and his family now rent in Phoenix. 

He said it was a mistake, and that he paid the state debt immediately but the federal debt took longer.

"Taxes are part of doing business," he told The Republic in an email. "I've paid million in taxes and expect to pay millions more. Any and all business owners that pay know this pain."

Curtin has said that taxpayers can trust him given his decades of experience running multi-million dollar businesses, and that if elected, he'd work to limit city inefficiencies that burden residents. 

Reach reporter Taylor Seely  at or 480-476-6116. Follow her on Twitter @taylorseely95 or Instagram @taylor.azc.