Riverside County Board to Transfer Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds to Treasury

The Board of Supervisors of Riverside County is set to take action on Tuesday regarding the transfer of nearly $800,000 in unclaimed property tax refunds to the county treasury. This money, owed to business owners and residents who did not come forward to claim it, spans tax years 2013 to 2018.

According to Treasurer-Tax Collector Matthew Jennings, a total of $792,861 belonging to 793 individuals and businesses will be transferred to the county General Fund, pending authorization from the board. The amounts per recipient vary, with one entity owed as little as $10.77 and another eligible for as much as $20,783.

Efforts were made in the previous year to notify the public about the unclaimed refunds through newspaper advertisements. Additionally, the billing support service Accurint was engaged to locate individuals and businesses whose addresses may have changed. Despite these efforts, only 29 people responded by filing claims, and only 20 of those claims were deemed legitimate.

One notable recipient, William Lyon Homes Inc., was listed 191 times in the documents, with over $8,000 available for distribution to the company. However, there was no explanation provided for why more prospective recipients did not respond to the county’s notices.

In previous years, the board had postponed action on transfers to allow more time for claims to be filed. However, under state law, the county is only required to hold unclaimed money for four years before it becomes government property.

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Treasurer-Tax Collector Jennings explained that most of the refunds stem from changes in the property tax roll that occurred after a payment had been mailed, resulting in savings to the taxpayer. As the board convenes to address the transfer of these unclaimed funds, it underscores the importance of timely and accurate tax administration, as well as the need for individuals and businesses to claim what is rightfully theirs to avoid such funds being transferred to the government.

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