Thursday, August 21 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:26:19 GMT
Hattiesburg police received a call at four Thursday afternoon from the Jr. Food Mart on the corner of West 4th Street and Main Street when a man was harassing customers at gas pumps. When the officersMore >>
Hattiesburg police received a call at four Thursday afternoon from the Jr. Food Mart on the corner of West 4th Street and Main Street when a man was harassing customers at gas pumps.More >>
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller trots out "Buck the Money Dog" to help spread the word about unclaimed property.
In Colorado, state treasurer Walker Stapleton starred in a slick video to raise awareness about the millions of dollars his office holds that belongs to current and former Coloradoans.
"We really try to go above and beyond to get [unclaimed property] to the rightful owner," said Nick Genesi, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Revenue, which is the custodian for unclaimed property in Georgia.
But a CBS46 investigation found Georgia's efforts to increase the public's awareness of forgotten funds fails in comparison to those of other states.
Georgia's Department of Revenue hasn't posted a news release on the topic in seven years. It doesn't use social media and, unlike many other states, doesn't post a list of names in newspapers. In fact, Genesi initially blocked efforts by CBS46 News to obtain the list and cooperate with a story about unclaimed property held by the DOR.
"[Georgia's DOR] doesn't make as much of a proactive effort as some of the other states," said Kimberly DeCarrera, an attorney with Barganier and Associates, who specializes in unclaimed property.
Unclaimed property consists of possessions found in abandoned safe deposit boxes, stocks, life insurance payouts, uncashed paychecks and pension funds whose owners or heirs couldn't be found. By law, companies are required to turn unclaimed property over to the Department of Revenue to hold until the owner can be found.
When CBS46 investigative reporter Jeff Chirico asked Genesi if connecting Georgians with their forgotten funds isn't a priority for Revenue Commissioner Douglas MacGinnitie, Genesi replied, "It's a priority. We returned over $16 million in unclaimed property to Georgians last year alone."
That amount represented about 10 percent of the $153 million held by the DOR in 2013.
So what happens to the uncollected money? Genesi said it is placed in the state's general fund for lawmakers to use for various government programs until it is collected by the owner or heir. Some say that leaves state leaders with little incentive to spread the word about the uncollected property.
Legislatures in some states have passed laws requiring the agency holding unclaimed property to publish lists of owners' names in local newspapers. Georgia has no such requirement.
CBS46 learned some states have budgets to advertise unclaimed property to their citizens. Pennsylvania spent $1.3 million in 2013 while North Carolina used a more modest $40,000. Georgia didn't spend a dime on outreach last year.
Republican State Sen. Charlie Bethel, of Dalton, who sits on the Government Oversight Committee, said he wouldn't support using taxpayer money to advertise the funds Georgia lawmakers are using.
"Certainly, if we're talking about improvements to the DOR's website, using social media, I think those are appropriate outreach measures," said Bethel who promised to discuss possible no-and low-cost outreach improvements with DOR officials.
Some states show there are ways to be consumer-friendly and fiscally conservative. In Colorado, the video starring Republican treasurer Stapleton included text that touted "This is a public service. No taxpayer dollars were used."
Wednesday, March 12 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-03-13 03:00:19 GMT
Some 224,000 people in Georgia have unclaimed property being held by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Could your name be on the list? CBS46's Adam Murphy began asking the Department of Revenue aboutMore >>
Some 224,000 people in Georgia have unclaimed property being held by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Could your name be on the list?More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 3:12 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:12:51 GMT
TYLERTOWN, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Dept. of Transportation, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, local elected officials and school administrators teamed up Friday at Tylertown High School to demonstrateMore >>
The Mississippi Dept. of Transportation, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, local elected officials and school administrators teamed up Friday at Tylertown High School to demonstrate the dangers of failing to wear car seat belts, while honoring a local student who was killed in an auto accident just two weeks ago.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-08-22 18:30:09 GMT
A Jones County Junior College alumnus revealed a gift to his wife and to the college, in the form of a plaza park, complete with swings, benches, flowers and plants. Sidney "Buck" Anderson said the LibbyMore >>
A Jones County Junior College alumnus revealed a gift to his wife and to the college, in the form of a plaza park, complete with swings, benches, flowers and plants.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:36:46 GMT
This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi Music Department If you are auditioning for Mary Poppins, ALL must do the dance audition on Friday evening AND ALL must do their specificMore >>
If you are auditioning for Mary Poppins, all must do the dance audition on Friday evening and all must do their specific singing/acting audition. There are no singing only or dancing only parts.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:44:08 GMT
One person was transported to a local hospital by ambulance after a City of Hattiesburg mower flipped on an embankment off Lincoln Road. A city crew was working along Lincoln Road near Interstate 59 shortlyMore >>
One person was transported to a local hospital by ambulance after a City of Hattiesburg mower flipped on an embankment off Lincoln Road.More >>
2362 U.S. Hwy 11
Moselle, MS 39459
1-800-844-WDAM (9326) Email Us