Colorado is holding $22M in unclaimed cash for Pueblo residents. Is some of it yours?
Nearly $1 billion in unclaimed cash is sitting in a trust fund maintained by the state treasurer, along with 6,800 unclaimed items from safety deposit boxes that are sitting in vaults at the Colorado Capitol.
Pueblo County residents alone have potential claims to nearly $22.5 million and 209 items from safety deposit boxes.
The state is working to match Coloradans with their property through a program called the Great Colorado Payback.
“It's money that people often don't even know they're entitled to: it’s theirs,” Colorado Treasurer Dave Young told the Chieftain. “The job of the Great Colorado Payback is to reunite people with that.”
Some of the available funds are small refunds from utility companies or gift cards, but others include hundreds or thousands of dollars from tax refunds, final paychecks or insurance payouts. Assets can also end up in the possession of the treasurer’s office when a relative passes away without a designated heir.
The average returned last year through a successful claim was $1,828, according to a spokesperson from the Colorado Treasury department.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak region got an extra $89,000 in 2021 that was left unclaimed from an estate donation from about a decade ago, said Kelley Likes, the agency's vice president of philanthropy.
“Normally, we are able to collect everything, but this is just something that fell through the cracks. We were fortunate to have such an amazing gift from this donor years later,” Likes said.
The organization learned of the donation when they were contacted directly by the treasury department, but that doesn’t usually happen for smaller donations.
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Likes said the Humane Society put the donation into an investment fund, where the money will grow and eventually contribute to starting new programs or construction in the future.
Businesses can also have unclaimed assets, but the process to get that money back can be trickier than for individuals, Young said, especially if the business has dissolved or filing employees find another job.
The city of Pueblo’s finance office has designated an employee to regularly check the database for potential claims, Mayor Nick Gradisar said.
Pueblo County also had dozens of unclaimed property assets listed in the state database. A representative from the county did not return the Chieftain’s request for comment prior to publication.
Within the past year, the treasury department has started a pilot program to proactively return funds, and Young is considering other options moving forward.
Young said that when he first came into office in 2019, email-based communication was not allowed — Colorado’s program and the original rules were set up in 1987.
The treasury department could potentially include integration into the myColorado app, Young said, but privacy would still need to be maintained.
To check if you or your business have unclaimed property in Colorado, visit colorado.findyourunclaimedproperty.com .
Anna Lynn Winfrey covers politics for the Chieftain. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @annalynnfrey.
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Colorado is holding $22M in unclaimed cash for Pueblo residents. Is some of it yours?