2019 Leg Session, Gold Dome, Housing, Politics, Scott Weiser, Uncategorized

Legislators seeking to raid the unclaimed property trust fund to pay for subsidized housing

DENVER–Legislation introduced on April 12 would move up to $40 million per year from the unclaimed property trust fund to the housing development grant fund to be used for subsidized housing.

The unclaimed property trust fund was established to hold money from abandoned bank accounts, insurance payments, safety deposit boxes and any other property that gets turned in as lost or abandoned.

The statute authorizing the trust fund says, “the principal of the trust fund shall not be expended except to pay claims,” and that all interest is to be credited to the fund.

House Bill 19-1322 would transfer each year for 7 years an amount calculated by the legislative council staff to be the “amount equal to the excess state revenues cap for the fiscal year plus the amount by which the state reimburses local governments for property taxes lost…”

This isn’t the first raid on the trust fund. In 2009, a total of $75 million was transferred to the state’s general fund, and in 2016 $8 million was also transferred.

The House Finance Committee approved a motion to pass the bill to the Committee on Appropriations April 17 on a 9-2 vote with only Rep. Rod Bockenfeld, R-Watkins, and Rep. Shane Sandridge, R-El Paso County, opposed.

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