Louisiana John Schroder speaks during last week’s Vermilion Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Louisiana Treasurer focus is on unclaimed property
BATON ROUGE — After so many years of John Kennedy as State Treasurer, many Louisianians don’t realize their treasurer is John Schroder – a former state representative.
And in his initial term Schroder is working hard to give citizens some money.
“I’m working really hard in my first year in office to sort of re-brand,” said Schroder, “because nobody knows what unclaimed property is.”
“It’s not really property; it’s cash!”
The state gets about $90 million annually, according to Schroder. Roughly $30 million is returned.
In just his first year, Schroder has upped returns by $20 million.
“Just with the use of technology,” Schroder said, “getting rid of some red tape. This money belongs to the citizens of Louisiana—it’s not government money.”
Schroder’s office has been trying to give away a whole lot of money—including an enormous amount to one person in northwest Louisiana.
“We got a $2.3-million-dollar claim,” Schroder said, “that’s the highest we’ve ever had in the state.”
But Schroder could not disclose the recipient of that huge check.
“The average check is about $900,” said Schroder.
A check of a map on the Treasurer’s website showed the amount of unclaimed property available in nearby parishes:
Acadia: $4 million
Jeff Davis: $2.4 million
Lafayette: $24.7 million
St. Landry: $6.2 million
Vermilion: $3.2 million
“What I’m working on is our outcomes,” said Schroder, “I want to make sure our outcomes are the best they can be; and we’re going to get more aggressive returning these funds to the citizens.”
Schroder said he wants to create a trust fund for the unclaimed money as it comes in; recognizing that it does not belong to the government. But a bill to that effect passed by the House and Senate was vetoed by the administration.
“We hope to work with the administration and fix any problems they may have with it,” Schroder said. “I think it would be a good opportunity to save some money that’s not ours, and live off the dividends; because the law doesn’t say we can’t live off the dividends.”
Schroder says following that procedure over the next 25 years could create a fund for the state kicking off $25 million to $30 million a year.
To see if you have any unclaimed property coming your way, go to the State Treasurer’s website/unclaimed property section.