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here i am! here i am! learning from the breakdown of california's unclaimed property program


Washington, DC - The Council On State Taxation (COST) is pleased to release its latest research, "Here I Am!, Her I Am! Learning from the Breakdown of California's Unclaimed Property Program."  The article, which was motivated by a recent case in California (Taylor v. Westly), examines the troubling nationwide trend of states using funds collected as unclaimed property to help balance their budgets.  The article highlights how the states' thirst for unclaimed property revenue encourages abusive audit tactics and has turned a primary purpose of unclaimed property programs - returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners - on its head.  The article also points to areas where states can improve their unclaimed property programs.

Another California case (Suever v. Connell), decided just last Friday, emphasizes the fiscal downside for states that abuse unclaimed property programs: California is now obligated to return interest to persons who reclaim property taken into state custody under the color of the Unclaimed Property Law.  Accordng to State's estimates, their exposure could be in excess of $500 million.

Click here to view the article.

If you have questions regarding the article, please contact the author, Jana Malone.