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Treasurer Finds Lost $14K for School District

School District 47 gets money from Cash Dash.

It's like putting on that winter jacket for the first time this season and finding a $20 bill.

But in this case found over $14,500.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford visited Crystal Lake City Hall Wednesday for his Cash Dash program. The program is set up to give people the chance to get back funds that went unclaimed. When a bank or business has money owed to people, and they can't locate those people, the funds go to the treasurer's office.

During the event, Rutherford did an online search and found that the state was holding $14,564.64 the school district was unaware of. To make the event extra sweet, 55 percent of the people in attendance found money or property the treasurer's office was holding for them, according to Frank Medina, the treasurer's office communications specialist. The City of Crystal Lake had $500 of unclaimed funds and the police department had $75.

District 47 has been in the news lately because their board recently approved a tentative levy projection that would hike property taxes in their district. The board is asking for $68.1 million in property taxes, a 3.8 percent increase from last year's request.

Although the $14,564.56 won't make a dent in overall budget, it's still money they didn't have yesterday.

School district officials hadn't returned calls when this story posted. They had still not been notified of their new found wealth.

Rutherford said he wasn't aware of the money owed the school district until Wednesday morning, long after the event was planned.

"Before we go out we look up who might have money coming to them in that community," Rutherford said.

These events take place every couple of weeks in different communities. Thursday's visits include Algonquin, Carpentersville, Elgin and St. Charles.

"Twenty to 25 percent of the people who show up find out that we're holding property or money for either themselves, a family member or someone they know," Rutherford said.

Rutherford said the state is currently holding about $1.5 billion in unclaimed funds and property, but that his office is working hard to get that money back to the rightful owners. Over the first nine months of this year his office has given back $72 million worth of unclaimed property and money, which is up from $60 million over the time period last year.

The Cash Dash events are funded from part of the interest earned off the unclaimed funds, according to Rutherford. The rest of the earned interest goes into paying state pensions.

Asked what the motivation was behind working so hard to give people their money, Rutherford responded "These are tight economic times. Everybody needs and deserves their money."

To see if you have unclaimed money, visit www.treasurer.il.gov/programs/cash-dash/cash-dash.aspx.

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