When finances are tight, every little bit helps, but some Connecticut cities have potentially thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars, sitting unused and uncollected on Connecticut’s unclaimed property list, known as the Big List, with the tag line “You’ve Got Money.”
The Big List is maintained by the state treasurer and is intended to reunite Connecticut residents with money owed to them after business entities lose contact with that person for “a period of three to five years,” according to the website.
But it can also reunite taxpayers with money owed to their municipality. It just has to be collected.
With unclaimed money dating back all the way to 1983, New Haven led the pack for unclaimed property by Connecticut’s largest cities, with 342 claims due to the city and its various departments.
The amount of the unclaimed money is unknown. The amounts are generally small, and the list maintained by the Office of the State Treasurer only indicates whether the value is greater or less than $100.
To get a rough idea of the amounts owed to the cities of Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, Bridgeport and Stamford we assigned a value of $100 to every claim listed as over $100 and $10 for every claim listed as under $100. So, it could be more, or it could be less.
Here are the results:
- New Haven: 342 claims totaling $23,130
- Hartford: 80 claims totaling $5,390
- Bridgeport: 54 claims totaling $3,860
- Stamford: 162 claims totaling $11,960
- Waterbury: 38 claims totaling $2,530
These aren’t big bucks, to be sure, especially for cities where budgets roll into the hundreds of millions, and clearly the money hasn’t been missed as some claims are nearly forty years old.
But it doesn’t take much time and effort to find the money owed to municipalities and, likewise, shouldn’t take much effort to claim the money. Maybe it could help keep the lights on for a day or be directed toward a charity during the holiday season.
To date, the Treasurer’s Office says that it has returned $898,131,164 to its rightful owners.