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States May Use Unclaimed Funds to Fix Deficit

The large amounts held by the states of unclaimed cash is appealing to officials as a solution to fix the high budge deficit. The center on Budget and Policy Priorities has set the states seriously thinking over the budget deficit. It estimates that the combined state budget deficit over the next two and a half years is likely to be about $350 billion. This will account for about 20% of the state budget.

In order to bridge this gap various states are trying to tap unusual sources of funds. Some states like California and Delaware have proposed the utilization of unclaimed funds effectively to fill in the budgetary deficits. This idea is finding support in spite of the understanding of the need to return the unclaimed cash to the rightful owners at the earliest.

States claim that only one third of the unclaimed treasure lying with state treasurers has found the rightful owners in spite of the rigorous efforts taken up by the states. It is likely that this huge cache will remain dormant for long waiting for the individuals and businesses to come forward and claim their property. It will not make good economic sense for the cash-starved states to let the unclaimed cash idle without any hopes of finding the rightful claimants.

Unclaimed Cash: a Source of Revenue

While the economic data and budget statistics differ from state to state, this huge dormant cache of unclaimed property is being targeted by the states as one of the readily available sources of additional revenue for the states. As per the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), state treasurers are presently safeguarding $32.877 billion of unclaimed cash and property.
Unclaimed property has helped to fill Delaware’s state revenues by 10%.

In 2008, the state’s unclaimed property added over $325 million to the state coffers and estimates that unclaimed funds will provide approximately $374 million in revenues for the fiscal 2010. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alabama’s democratic candidate for Treasurer Jeremy Sherer has offered to tap unclaimed funds till the economy of the states improves.

Americans can find whether any unclaimed property is lying in their name by visiting www.cashunclaimed.com.

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