- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chump change, it’s not. The Transportation Security Administration has collected — and kept — more than half-a-million dollars in loose passenger change at security checkpoints in 2012 alone.

TSA figures show agents collected $531,395 in change that was left or lost by passengers last year, according to a report in The Hill. That’s up from 2011 collections, which stood at $487,869, The Hill reports. And it’s up even more from 2010, when the lost-and-found figure stood at $409,085, The Hill said.

Federal law lets TSA keep the money. Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller introduced a bill last year that would have put the change in the hands of the pro-military United Service Organization — but it failed to pass.

The TSA said it “makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint,” The Hill reported. “However, there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed.”

Unclaimed money goes toward TSA’s general operating expenses, The Hill reports.

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