DES MOINES, IA –State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced over $3.6 million from the City of Des Moines Franchise Fee lawsuit has been returned to owners. September 26 marks one-year since over 60,000 Des Moines-area properties were added to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt from the City of Des Moines class action franchise tax lawsuit. “During the last twelve months, we have reunited more than 10,000 people or businesses with their lost settlements from the lawsuit,” Fitzgerald said. “But our job is not done; we want to return it all.”
Over $11 million was reported from the lawsuit. Refund amounts ranged from $10 to over $300,000 and outstanding properties remain posted at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov. The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt was given an 18-month period in a final effort to return the funds to the class members. “This is the perfect time for the people to claim their portion of the settlement. We will have these properties for six more months and will then return the remaining funds to the city. We are encouraging everyone, not just those that could be a part of the settlement, to search the website and claim any money we are holding in their name.”
Over the course of the last twelve months, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt hit a couple of milestones. In fiscal year 2018 (ending June 2018), the treasurer’s office paid over 36,000 claims. The average number of claims paid in a year is 16,000. Additionally, the program reached over $250 million paid milestone in August. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the state treasurer’s office, where it is held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include: savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.
Visit GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov to begin your search. Keep up with all of our programs on social media (Facebook and Twitter @IowaTreasurer).