Thursday, February 7, 2013

County after unclaimed property coin

I saw this quirky little nugget on the Knox County Commission agenda: a resolution requesting the unclaimed balance of accounts remitted to the state under the Unclaimed Property Act.

So, what's that mean?

Well, the state might end up cutting the county a big check. Although technically it's already the county's money. Or not.

Let me explain: 
Say for example, the county owes someone $10k, for whatever reason (a lawsuit settlement for example, or jury duty pay, whatever). The county will cut that person a check. If the person doesn't cash the check within a year or so, the county sends the money to the state.

Now, granted this part makes no sense and you'll see why in a minute.

So, the money sits in a state bank account where it no doubt collects interest that the county will never see. But, the state – somewhere on it's website (no link, sorry, do your own work for once) – will have a list of folks who are owed money.

After another year or so, if no one claims the coin, then the state cuts the county a check for whatever is not claimed. (Note, however, that at any time, the person who is owed the money can still collect it from the county – even years and years later. I told you it made no sense to send it to the state. Seriously.)
Last July, the county received a check for $167,039.04, all of which went directly into the general fund, even though some of it might have been from a fee office or whatever. (Yes, this is how it works.)

At this point, officials don't know how much they'll get back. But, head county bean counter and finance guru Casual Chris Caldwell has asked one of his minions to begin looking into the accounts, checking to see what hasn't been cashed. Or something like that.

I think he said we'd know more by April or May, although he felt the amount could be close to what the county got back last summer.

In the meantime, the county commission has to actually approve the resolution, so the county can get back the money. 

And also, so the commission can spend it. 


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