Budget sweeps cause treasurer’s office to temporarily halt unclaimed property payouts

Treasurer's office says it temporarily can't issue unclaimed property payments due to budget sweeps

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - State Treasurer John Schroder says his office has temporarily stopped issuing unclaimed property payouts.

Schroder says budget sweeps have caused the fund to be short on the money needed to pay out claims. A similar incident happened in September of 2018, the treasurer says.

Schroder argues the money belongs to residents of Louisiana and should not be used to fill budget gaps. He says businesses usually turn over unclaimed money to the state in late October, which will allow the treasurer’s office to resume paying claims.

“Unclaimed Property isn’t the state’s money. It belongs to the people and businesses of Louisiana. We shouldn’t have to delay returning people’s money to them,” said Schroder. “I’m thankful the citizens of Louisiana will be able to vote Nov. 3 on whether to place Unclaimed Property into a trust fund. A trust fund will prevent future shortfalls. Unclaimed Property is the people’s money. They shouldn’t be told to come back in four weeks to claim it.”

Constitutional Amendment No. 7 will appear on November’s ballot and if passed, will create the Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund to protect Unclaimed Property beginning July 1, 2021. Through the fund’s investment earnings, the treasurer says it will also create a state revenue source that doesn’t raise taxes or spend the Unclaimed Property money.

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