By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – State Treasurer Young Boozer says the state’s financial situation is healthy as his office manages more money with more financial return than in any other time in the state’s history.
Economic growth and the recent influx of federal money has seen the state’s overall treasury grow almost five fold, Boozer said.
“The state of Alabama is financially healthy right now,” Boozer said while appearing on Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television.
“When I was first elected and began to serve in 2011, that treasury fund was about $2.4 billion. At the end of my two terms – eight years later when I left office in January 2018, that amount of money had grown to $3.6 billion,” Boozer said. “As of this morning, it has grown to $10.6 billion.”
The state has seen revenue growth in both the General Fund and the Education Trust Fund over the past several years, with the last three years setting records for spending in both budgets. That has come from a growing sales, property and income tax, which sustains the ETF, and online sales tax, a relatively new factor that has led to General Fund growth.
Alabama was allotted $2.2 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March 2021, most of which has not been spent yet.
Boozer said the state has been “prudent and aggressive” about investing in short-term markets that are currently generating an estimated annual return of $180 million, up from just $22 million last year.
“Some of it is in a checking account because we have to maintain balances for all the transactions that the state has, but we keep that to a minimum and then anything above that we put into money market mutual funds, commercial paper, short term investments in U.S. securities, that kind of investment.
Boozer also encouraged Alabamians to check his office website for unclaimed property, where they might find money from uncashed checks or closed bank accounts.
“We currently have unclaimed property in the amount of $1.1 billion. It represents about nine million individual claims. If you do the math quickly, it’s about $125 bucks on average. It could be $1.98 from a dividend check that didn’t get cashed or something from an estate that gets turned over.
“Nothing makes us happier than to reunite the people of Alabama with their money,” Boozer said.
The unclaimed property portal can be accessed at www.treasury.alabama.gov.