CBS46 finds government agencies fail to collect missing money - CBS46 News

CBS46 finds government agencies fail to collect missing money

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Government leaders never seem to have enough money, and they sure know how to find taxpayers when they need more of it. But CBS46 has found potentially millions of government dollars that federal, state and local agencies haven't collected that could help fix roads and educate children.

"[Politicians are] always saying they don't have enough funding to pay for certain things. Yeah. There's money sitting there," said Angela Brown.  Brown contacted CBS46 after she tried searching Georgia's Unclaimed Property website to see if missing money belonged to her friends and family members.

"I started doing keyword searches. The first one I did was "Georgia" and it brought up a lot of government agencies," said Brown. 

 CBS46 investigative reporter Jeff Chirico conducted a similar search and found hundreds of government agencies including the Georgia Department of Community Health and the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. Combined the two agencies can collect 400 checks.

The unclaimed property website doesn't list the amount of those checks, but the national average for one claim is $892.  

According to the Department of Revenue, the unclaimed property usually comes from companies who can't find the owner of an uncashed check, a utility or cable refund, a forgotten stock dividend or life insurance payout.

Chirico found the Secretary of State has 29 checks waiting to be claimed; the City of Atlanta could collect 126 checks and the Internal Revenue Service a whopping 164 checks.

There's also money for schools, police departments and small cities. 

"There's a ton of things they could do with that money other than just sit there," said Brown. 

 Department of Revenue Commissioner Doug MacGinnitie said since the government does a lot of business and money sometimes gets lost and ends up in his department until they can return it to the appropriate office. MacGinnitie recommended that government leaders check the unclaimed property website periodically for funds.   

The Department of Revenue has more than $153 million to return and most of it is addressed to individuals. Experts suggest Georgians search for missing money under their name and the names of friends, family members and their favorite charity, church and school.  A small treasure could be sitting there waiting to be collected. 

The Georgia Unclaimed Property website can be found here.

North Carolina's Unclaimed Property website can be found here.

South Carolina's Unclaimed Property website can be found here.

Alabama's Unclaimed Property website can be found here.

Florida's Unclaimed Property website can be found here.

Tennessee's Unclaimed Property website can be found here.

You can find unclaimed property held by other state here.

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