Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt's Office
STATE TREASURER ERIC SCHMITT is Missouri’s chief financial officer, making all investments for the state of Missouri. He oversees state banking services and its $3.5 billion investment portfolio. The Treasurer safeguards more than $942 million in unclaimed property, manages a $720 million low-interest loan program and leads the state’s 529 college savings plan. He is one of six statewide elected officials and serves a term of four years. A person may only serve as state treasurer for two terms.
Protecting Missouri Taxpayers: Banking and Investments
As Missouri’s chief financial officer, the Treasurer’s management of state revenue and investments is critical to maintaining the state’s AAA bond rating. While not an official bank, he must authorize payments and balance accounts. To protect taxpayer money, the Treasurer maintains a separate accounting system to provide a check and balance on the state accounting system and distributes investment earnings to the proper funds. The Treasurer contracts with Missouri banks to process state receipts and disbursements; handles money and security transfers; reports on the state’s accounts, balances and payment activities; and provides related banking services. Bidding for state banking services contracts is open to all qualifying Missouri banks.
The Treasurer determines the amount of state funds not needed for current operating expenses and invests those funds in interest-bearing time deposits in Missouri banks, U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities, repurchase agreements, banker’s acceptances and top-rated commercial paper. Safety is the Treasurer’s top priority in the investment of public funds. The Treasurer has an average of $3.5 billion invested daily.
Helping Missouri Farmers and Entrepreneurs: Missouri Linked Deposit Program
The Missouri Linked Deposit Program provides low-interest loans to small businesses and farms through
partnerships with qualified Missouri lenders. Loan savings are usually 30 percent to the borrower. The loans can
be used by small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, agricultural operations, beginning farmers,
businesses adding jobs, entities making alternative energy investments, multi-family housing developments and
local governments making community improvements.
This program was expanded by the Treasurer's office through a 2009 jobs and economic development legislative package, which has a $720 million statutory cap. The legislation enhanced program eligibility to incentivize job creation, job retention and community reinvestment. Since 2009, the Treasurer's office has approved nearly $2 billion in loans impacting 34,000 jobs and farmers. Of that, $444 million in loans were approved that would not have been allowed before the passage of the 2009 jobs and economic development package that allows more farmers and business to qualify for loans.
In May 2011, the Treasurer's office implemented the Harmed-Area Emergency Loan Priority system, or HELP. HELP provides 24-hour loan approval for counties dealing with disasters. Since its inception, more than $80 million in loans have been approved.
Financial institutions and borrowers should visit www.treasurer.mo.gov to learn more about the program. Borrowers can find a list with more than 130 participating lenders and 350 branches throughout Missouri. The application process has been streamlined and takes about one week to complete.
Returning Missourians’ Money: Unclaimed Property
The Missouri State Treasurer is responsible for Unclaimed Property: Missouri’s Largest Lost and Found. State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities to turn over assets that belong to a customer, client, employee or other owner if there have been no documented transactions or contact with the owner for five or more years. The Treasurer operates an aggressive program to return unclaimed assets to the original owners or their legal heirs. Another unclaimed property record was set during fiscal year 2015 by returning nearly $42 million to account owners.
Most unclaimed property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. It also can include uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits and wages from past jobs. Unclaimed property does not include real property such as land or houses, or personal property such as cars or boats.
The Missouri State Treasurer is dedicated to protecting the military medals and honors turned over to his office in safe deposit boxes. In June of 2010, the Veterans Medal Bill was signed into law after passing through the House and Senate unanimously. This bill ensures that unclaimed military medals will not be sold as part of statutorily required unclaimed property auctions.
In June 2011, the first Unclaimed Property military medals went on display as part of a partnership with the Missouri State Museum made possible by the Veterans Medal Bill. The Distinguished Service Cross and French Cross of War earned by a World War I doctor represent the hundreds of servicemen and women who have sacrificed for the state of Missouri and our country. The Treasurer's office continues to work with veterans’ organizations and museums to locate and preserve the medals and honor those that remain in his care.
Building off of this effort, the Treasurer's office worked with the legislature in 2013 to pass the Military Medal Return Act. Passed with strong bipartisan support, this bill allows the Treasurer's office to share further information about the owners of the medals on his website and with veterans’ organizations.
The Missouri State Treasurer currently holds more than $874 million in unclaimed property in nearly 5 million owner accounts. All unclaimed property is held in trust forever and may be claimed at any time. To recover unclaimed property, claimants must be either the original owner of the property or a legal heir. The Treasurer provides all services free of charge. Individuals can check to see if the Treasurer's office is holding unclaimed property that may belong to them, sign up for email notifications and file paperless claims at www.ShowMeMoney.com.
Building Access to an Affordable College Education: MOST–Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan
MOST–Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan, developed in 1999, encourages Missouri families to save for higher education while taking advantage of significant federal and state tax benefits. Accounts can be opened through the do-it-yourself, direct-sold MOST 529 Plan or through the advisor-sold MOST 529 Plan with as little as $25 or $15 through payroll deduction. Contributions of up to $8,000 ($16,000 for married couples) annually can be deducted from Missouri income taxes, and all earnings are free of federal and state income taxes for qualified withdrawals. Funds from MOST 529 accounts can be used to pay for all eligible educational expenses at virtually any two-year or four-year college or university, vocational, technical or professional school anywhere in the country. As of July 2013, MOST 529 has more than $2.2 billion in assets, with more than 150,000 account owners.
To open a direct-sold MOST 529, call toll free: (888) 414-MOST ((800) 414-6678), or visit www.missourimost.org. To open a MOST 529 advisor-sold account, contact your financial advisor, call 1-800-617-5097 or visit www.most529advisor.com.
Staying Accountable to Missouri Tax Payers
The Missouri State Treasurer is committed to a transparent and accountable administration. He maintains an open government portal at www.treasurer.mo.gov/content/about-the-office/open-government. Citizens may access investment returns, office policies, meeting minutes and other public information through this portal. Sunshine requests may also be filed electronically through the site.
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