P R E S S R E L E A S E
For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2009
Contact: Harvey Rice
Butkovitz Urges City to Use $13.6 Million in
Unclaimed Bond Payment Funds for City Services
Funds could be used for general operations
PHILADELPHIA – In a letter to the City Finance Director, City Controller Alan Butkovitz urges that $13.6 million in unclaimed bond payment funds that are two or more years past due be returned to the city and used for city services.
According to Butkovitz, “Finance should collect the unclaimed bond funds from the city’s outside fiscal agent and use this money for general operations, as well as earning interest and reducing some of the fiscal agent’s fees.”
“Given our current financial crisis, the city desperately needs this money and could make good use of it to fund essential services that have – or could be – cut in the budget,” said Butkovitz. “While it’s a small fraction of the overall budget, it could be used help keep our swimming pools open for the summer.”
According to a City Solicitor’s opinion which was provided to the Controller’s Office, any excess in the sinking fund unclaimed after the due date for two years shall be repaid to the city for its general purposes. The opinion is in response to a previous Controller’s report issued where the City Solicitor indicated that unclaimed bond payment funds should not be escheated to the state.
“These funds are just sitting in a bank with little or no benefit to the city,” said Butkovitz.
If a person comes to collect the unclaimed money, the city would be responsible for administrative work such as filing the paper work to pay the person.