Local governments across Pennsylvania are missing money. The NBC 10 Investigators found since 2009 the state of Pennsylvania has recovered and returned more than $1.5 million to local governments in southeastern Pennsylvania.
“Money that is owed to the government really is owed to the taxpayers,” Deputy State Treasurer Doug Rohanna said.
The state treasury’s unclaimed property office returned $100,412 to the School District of Philadelphia, $152,815 to Montgomery County, and $274,751 to Delaware County according to treasury records. Those records show the state unclaimed property office returned $783,191 to the City of Philadelphia.
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“When someone writes a check a lot of things can go wrong,” Philadelphia Finance director Rob Dubow said.
Dubow said sometimes people send money meant for the city to the wrong place. Other times, he said, city staff forgets to deposit checks. After two years, banks turn over un-deposited checks to the state treasury.
“The goal is to not have it happen, but there’s a failsafe in place when it does happen,” Dubow said.
In Philadelphia the city treasurer checks once a year for unclaimed money. Kenney administration officials say the city is moving toward only accepting online payments, in part, so no more check go un-deposited.
New Jersey and Delaware also hold unclaimed property. New Jersey officials wouldn’t disclose how much unclaimed property and money the state holds. Delaware has more than $1.6 billion in unclaimed property and money. According to the Delaware treasury some belongs to local governments including the City of Philadelphia, Montgomery County and the State of Pennsylvania.