That is a very good question, and a simple answer to that is yes. It does however depend on the requlations and requirements of each particular lender. Many lenders will use guidelines that in most cases do require an escrow account be maintained for the purpose of real estate taxes and also property insurance, but this is certainly something that can be negotiated, especially if you have a sizeable downpayment.
What you are asking for is that the escrowed funds not include taxes but most lenders want to be sure that insurance and taxes are paid every year, and not gone unpaid, so they require the funds to be escrowed 1/12 every month by adding it to the principal and interest due. Most lenders will not waver off this method because it protects them.