The following was submitted by State Treasurer David McRae
There has been a lot of talk about economic stimulus over the last year. Unfortunately, the programs out of Washington have come with a hefty price tag for taxpayers, pushing the national debt to nearly $30 trillion and sparking vigorous debates about inflation.
Economists will long discuss the real impact of these “stimulus” packages, but I know many who are already concerned about the burdens this spending has put on taxpayers. Maybe that’s what made my team’s unprecedented effort to return unclaimed money so exciting during this time. We figured out a way to infuse the state with cash without adding government debt. And not a small amount of cash either! We have returned $30 million in “unclaimed money” through 10,000 separate claims since January 2020.
Unclaimed money is cash that never quite made it to its rightful owner. Maybe it was an inheritance you didn’t know you were entitled to or an electricity bill refund that was sent to the wrong address. In some cases, the money belongs to a business or non-profit group. In other cases, it goes to a community or an area hospital. In most cases, it is an individual that gets to experience the excitement that’s only akin to finding a few bucks in the pocket of an old coat.
Our team has done a lot to try to find the rightful owners of this money. We’ve proactively dug through thousands of records to locate individuals. We’ve hit the road and hosted Unclaimed Money Days in local communities. And most critically, we made it easier than ever to find and claim this cash, allowing individuals to complete their entire claim online for the first time in Mississippi history.
The ways this money has changed people’s lives is almost indescribable. Earlier this year, we returned a $200,000 inheritance to a gentleman who was unaware it existed. He took that money and deposited it into a bank account to begin saving for his three-year-old daughter’s future.
This money was never the state’s money. It was always his family’s money. Our job was simply to get it back to him, and we were grateful to do just that.
To search for unclaimed property in your name, just visit Treasury.MS.gov/Search.