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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2010

Combs Returns Unclaimed Property in Beaumont,

Honors Local Governments For Transparency

(Beaumont) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs today said the city of Beaumont reclaimed $23,389 in unclaimed property in 2009.

“Cities, counties and school districts face challenges in this tough economy,” Combs said. “Our office has expanded its efforts to help government entities reclaim property, and I applaud the city of Beaumont for taking the initiative to get this money back and put it to work for the taxpayers.”

Combs urges all area residents to check the Unclaimed Property List by visiting www.ClaimItTexas.org or calling (800) 654-FIND (3463) to see if they have money waiting to be claimed. The state is holding $8.6 million in unclaimed property for people and businesses in Beaumont. The Comptroller estimates 40 out of 100 people in Beaumont have unclaimed property. Examples of unclaimed property include dividend, payroll or cashier’s checks; stocks, bonds and mutual fund accounts; utility deposits and other refunds; insurance proceeds; mineral interest or royalty payments; dormant bank accounts; and abandoned safe deposit box contents.

Also, during a visit to Beaumont today, Combs recognized the city of Beaumont for meeting high standards in fiscal transparency. Beaumont received bronze status in the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle, a program that recognizes cities, counties, school districts and other local governments that have taken their first steps toward openness, shown progress or even exceeded transparency standards in providing online access to their expenses and revenue.

“We appreciate the work of local officials who shine a light on spending and ensure greater accountability to the taxpayers,” Combs said. “We’re opening financial records for public examination so taxpayers can see exactly where their money is going, promoting greater accountability and raising expectations for customer service and government transparency at all levels.”

Local governments receiving an award have opened their books to the public and provide clear, consistent pictures of spending with detailed information on how tax dollars are allocated and spent. These top-ranking entities provide information online in an easily accessible, user-friendly format with features that allow taxpayers to easily drill down for more detailed information.

For tips and a step-by-step guide to achieve local government transparency, as well as a complete list of local governments in the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle sorted by city, county and school district, visit www.TexasTransparency.org/local/. New entities are typically added on a weekly basis.

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