State officials grapple with unclaimed property

Revenue estimating conference. Photo courtesy

The state’s revenue estimating conference was held Wednesday morning at the Capitol to adopt a new forecast for unclaimed property.

The conference started off with Phillip Carlton from the Division of Unclaimed Property, going over what’s been happening since their last meeting.

“We had contract auditors, they completed audits of a few large brokerage firms,” Carlton said. “It was almost $5 million in cash and almost 250,000 shares. We also had a transfer agent who actually reported early … about $1.7 million in cash, and about 251,000 in shares.”

Carlton continued to talk about audits being performed for the rest of the fiscal year.

“I’ve also checked for the remainder of the fiscal year we don’t have any more large audits,” Carlton said. “Maybe one more audit being completed but it won’t be more than $2 million.”

Amy Baker with the Office of Economic & Demographic Research had questions for Carlton.

“Do you guys know you’re going to be doing anything new or different we should be aware of?” Baker said. “And in terms of auctions are you guys thinking of anything?”

Carlton explained that COVID-19 hasn’t really changed anything.

“No, I mean we’re still functioning at full capacity,” Carlton said. “COVID hasn’t really impacted us that much. There are some large brokerage audits going on but they’re probably not going to be closed this year.”

In terms of auctions, they keep getting rescheduled.

Well, we actually had to reschedule like five times,” Carlton said. “We were supposed to have one next month and again that one has been postponed so we have rescheduled for one in May … possibly doing one in April but we don’t know yet.”

While going over the unclaimed property trust fund Holger Ciupalo from the governor’s office had questions for Carlton regarding atypical receipts for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

“Do we consider them also refundable since it’s an audit?” Ciupalo said.

Carlton responded.“Yes, we have owner names and there will be significant claims on that specific property,” Carlton said.

Carlton made his final statements: “Everything else is the same as it was in November except for the $19 million extra that came in in December,” Carlton said.

Baker ended the meeting by suggesting everyone go with Daniel McPherson’s configured plan of the unclaimed property trust fund.

“My recommendation would be to go with Daniel’s reconfigured plan,” Baker said.

Everyone agreed and the meeting was adjourned.