Property Auction Raises $1.16 Million for Florida Schools
By Matt O'Hern // June 13, 2013
$1.16 MILLION TO GO TO FLORIDA EDUCATION TRUST FUND
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida CFO Jeff Atwater explains Florida’s Unclaimed Property Program. Earlier this week, an unclaimed property auction raised $1.16 million for Florida’s Public Schools.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA— Public schools across the state will benefit from the second-highest-grossing auction in the 52-year history of Florida’s unclaimed property program.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the 2013 Unclaimed Property Auction held on Saturday in Tampa drew more than 300 attendees, including 220 bidders, and raised $1.16 million for Florida’s public schools.
“I thank everyone who put the auction together and more importantly, to thank the team at the Bureau of Unclaimed Property who work tirelessly everyday to reunite Floridians with their unclaimed dollars or property,” Atwater said. “I encourage everyone to frequently check our website to see if they have unclaimed property. It is our goal to give back to Floridians what rightfully belongs to them.”
According to Atwater’s release, notable historical pieces among the auction items included a 1776 Continental Note and one 1876 gold pocket watch. All of the auctioned items were from abandoned safe deposit boxes at Florida financial institutions. Under the unclaimed property program, unclaimed money, including the earnings from auctions, is deposited into the state school fund, where, until claimed, it is used for public education.
There is no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property at any time at no cost.According to Atwater’s office, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property has seen record returns, reuniting more than 850,000 owners, heirs and businesses with more than 520 million including a record-high $24.7 million in June 2011 alone. The next auction will be held August 23-24 at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hilton. To look for or claim unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555.