One of my priorities as Mississippi Treasurer is to make state government more accessible to you, the taxpayer. So, this July, I held my first telephone town hall, which gave me the opportunity to update Mississippians on the work our team is doing and take any questions you had. I am incredibly humbled to report that more than 4,000 Mississippians decided to join the event.
The first thing we discussed was how families could use their upcoming Child Tax Credit payment for college savings. Given that 83 percent of those on the call reported being concerned about student loan debt (including 58 percent who said they were very concerned), it was a topic of high interest for those on the call — and likely, for many reading today.
As you may already know, most Mississippi families began receiving a monthly Child Tax Credit payment of up to $300 per child on July 15. Many are choosing to invest those funds in a college savings account through the State Treasury. The Mississippi Affordable College Savings accounts are similar to a savings account you’d get at a bank, but their earnings come with some key tax advantages. The money you put in this account can be used for anything from books to tuition to apprenticeship programs. To learn more, visit Treasury.MS.gov/MACS.
During the telephone town hall, we also talked about unclaimed money, or funds that somehow got separated from their rightful owner. This money could be an inheritance you didn’t know you were entitled to or an electricity bill refund that was sent to the wrong address, for example. Thus far, my team has returned more than $30 million of unclaimed money to Mississippians, and more is being claimed almost every day!
On the call, a lot of people had questions about whether this money can be claimed on behalf of an individual who is deceased. The answer is yes! Through the claims process, we will work to verify the money’s rightful heir or heirs. Just recently, we returned a $200,000 inheritance to a Mississippian who didn’t know they were the next of kin! To search, visit Treasury.MS.gov/Search.
Finally, I updated callers on the state’s credit rating, which has gone from a AA negative to a AA positive over the last year. Eighty-one percent of Mississippians on the town hall reported it was important to them that we protect the state’s credit rating, and I agree.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the town hall. I hope we’re able to do it again soon. If you have questions in the meantime, however, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 601-359-3600.
Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for the State of Mississippi.
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