I specialize in short sale transactions and will share my experience with you. The short answer is no, the new buyer will not have to pay the delinquent taxes unless they agree to do so. The way this is handled is:
When a listing agent, who knows how to handle short sales, submits a short sale package to the bank, one of the items that must be included is a HUD-1 or Net Sheet. This is a calculation of how much money the bank will get on the deal. I work with my Escrow officer to make sure that all liens (including property taxes) are fully disclosured to the lender and handled through the transaction. This must happen for the new buyer to be able to get title insurance on the transaction. And the buyer's new lender will not fund their purchase loan without title insurance. This is your guarantee that you are buying the property free and clear of liens and encumberances other than those disclosed in the title policy.
Make sure you review the preliminary title report, make sure that at closing all the liens are being paid through the escrow, and make sure that you are getting title insurance on the transaction from a reputable, and stable, title company. The best way to make sure all this happens is to work with a great team of real estate professionals including a Realtor, Title Officer, Escrow Officer, Lender, etc.
Good luck in building Your Dream Team and Dare to Dream.
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty