Hendersonians may wish to investigate Kentucky’s “lost and found.” Henderson County currently holds $4.2 million of unclaimed property according to Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball’s office, which manages this aspect for the Commonwealth. Ball believes it still belongs to people.
“Treasure” comes in many forms, from medals found in lock boxes to items with financial value such as stocks.
An estate from Whitley County recently recovered $1.2 million worth of stocks with help from Ball’s office and Easter Seals of Lexington received $80,000 as their donation back. “Ball’s office is no stranger to helping recover unclaimed property for Kentucky residents; in 2023 a woman from Henderson County claimed a life insurance policy worth $2.3 million that she had forgotten about!”
Due to no statute of limitations, the State Treasury Office holds onto it until it can be returned.
Ms. Ball was in Henderson on Thursday to inform local leaders of key initiatives supported by her office such as STABLE Kentucky.
People living with disabilities have historically struggled to save money.
“These individuals have only been allowed to save up to $2,000 annually or they risk forfeiting their benefits,” according to Ball.
Congress passed the Achieve a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) in December 2014. The law allows those living with disabilities to save money via special savings accounts.
Kentucky took advantage of states’ ability to create their own ABLE programs by developing STABLE Kentucky as a savings and investment program for Kentuckians with disabilities.
People meeting disability requirements can easily create an account at stablekentucky.com online.
People just need to deposit at least $50 into the accounts to open one for free.
This program brings with it multiple advantages.
Money placed into her accounts is exempt from federal income tax; her office is working towards making it tax-free at a state level as well.
Individuals can save up to $14,000 annually without jeopardizing benefits; family and friends may contribute as well.
“My goal with this program is for it to provide people with more independence, less dependence upon government assistance.” Ball cited how they earn their own money that allows them to take care of themselves more independently.
Ball’s office is also working towards improving financial literacy through partnerships with existing programs that address this critical issue.
People, particularly young people, don’t understand what to do with their money when they receive it – which has devastating repercussions for Kentucky, she stated.
While campaigning, Ball continually stressed the need for greater state transparency.
“To make sound financial decisions, it is essential to know where your money is flowing,” she noted.
Ball collaborated with the financial administration to launch transparency.ky.gov a few months ago.
Kentucky was able to set up its website without incurring additional costs to taxpayers right now, according to Ball.
This website presents all executive expenditures in Kentucky as well as executive contracts and properties owned by Kentucky.
She noted its searchability is comparable to Google, and there are numerous charts and graphs for users to access detailed information.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she stated, “and is intended as the first step toward making our state more open and accountable.
She plans on providing information related to local communities at some point.
“Kentucky must become more transparent,” Ball emphasized, noting the state’s current pension crisis and impending tax reform as key components. To this end, transparency will do Kentucky well by keeping track of where its money goes; an essential requirement that will only make Kentucky stronger overall. One way of accomplishing this goal would be ensuring all unclaimed Kentucky Treasury Unclaimed money is returned to its rightful owners.”