- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania’s Treasury Department said Thursday it expects revenue from a change in rules for handling unclaimed property to exceed projections by about $210 million - good news for legislative budget writers facing requests for billions of dollars in new spending in the year that starts July 1.

The department’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property “has worked hard to exceed expectations and to do its part to help improve the financial situation of the commonwealth,” said Christopher Craig, the executive deputy state treasurer.

Last year, the Legislature reduced the period in which banks, insurance companies and other entities may keep unclaimed property such as abandoned bank accounts, stocks and safe deposit boxes. The change from five years to three years took effect April 15.

As a result, more property than usual was turned over to the state, which by law may spend most of that money until the lawful owner of the property claims it.

The department projected it would collect $423 million in unclaimed property this year, leaving $318 million available for state programs once outstanding claims are paid. So far, with some additional revenue anticipated through the close of the fiscal year on June 30, the department has collected more than $625 million, leaving $528 million available, said Doug Rohanna, a department spokesman.

The department is responsible for identifying and locating the owners of the more than $2.5 billion in unclaimed property under its control, which is searchable in the treasury’s online database.


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