This Trend Sweeping States Makes Claiming Assets More Timely Than Ever
A worrying trend is gaining popularity among states.
The trend is this: raising income tax leads to political suicide for politicians.
This directly impacts your ability to claim your assets. Here's how:
Unclaimed Assets? Not for Much Longer
Colorado was one of the first states to pass a bill to this tune in 2019.
Since the majority of the state's $30 billion in unclaimed assets are just left to rot, state lawmakers decided to put a cap on how long people have to find their assets.
The cap is variable and depends on the value of the asset.
If you don't claim your asset, the state takes the money, which is then used on projects that politicians feel they couldn't increase taxes to do.
For example: building infrastructure.
This trend is mostly present in "high tax" states, such as New York and California.
These states could face mass exoduses if they aren't careful about curbing extra taxes, so they'll tap any possible funding sources before taxing citizens more.
However, this is effectively theft of your own assets! You risk not being able to get your own assets back at all.
Combating This Issue
First, you'll need to determine whether states where you've lived have passed laws like this.
Many states have not. If this is the case, you don't need to take further action.
If for any period of time you lived in a state that did or will pass these laws soon, look at each state's specific database.
Have a time scheduled every month or so when you only look into unclaimed assets.
There are no federal guidelines these states must follow, so some of them continually shrink the timeline to claim assets.
Is This Trend Legal?
This is uncharted territory.
Some states have exemptions for people in certain situations, for example: a military personnel deployed overseas with no internet access.
Any state taking the unclaimed asset of said military personnel would be considered theft.
Others simply allow the money to be spent and will pay you back upon demand.
The key here is that right now, states' rights dominate the issue.
Like most similar trends, there's a strong likelihood that this practice will be prohibited or regulated by the federal government at some point.
Why Is This Happening Now?
The answer is that many states are struggling to keep up with expenses they incur.
States like Tennessee and Texas have constitutions that prohibit income taxes, leaving them with limited options.
Low-tax policies have been favored in the United States since the 1940s.
But there still needs to be some way to pay for "crumbling" or "subpar" infrastructure.
It remains to be seen if this practice is legally sustainable.
In the meantime, it's crucial to be more vigilant than ever before when checking databases for unclaimed assets.
Regardless of whether it's legal or not, it's clear that the state did absolutely nothing to earn what is rightfully yours.
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