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75% of state treasurer candidates want to return Wisconsinites unclaimed property

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Three of the four candidates for Wisconsin state treasurer say the task of returning people's unclaimed property should be returned to the treasurer's office.

Lawmakers transferred that duty to the Revenue Department last year.

Since then, media reports said a backlog of property claims rose by over 600 percent, to 7,825 as of Tuesday.

For years, returning property like uncashed tax refunds and forgotten bank accounts was the treasurer's most high profile job. But the Republican governor and Legislature eliminated virtually all the duties of the treasurer and secretary of state, after previous constitutional amendments to eliminate both offices went nowhere.

Now, after the news of the backlog, Republican candidate Randy Melchert and Democrats David Sartori and Dave Leeper all say the unclaimed property returns should go back to the treasurer's domain.

Republican Matt Adamczyk favors eliminating the treasurer's post entirely. Adamczyk does not deny that property claims have risen -- but he says the Revenue Department has apparently been completing them within the 90 day time limit set by state law.

The four candidates hope to replace Republican Treasurer Kurt Schuller, who's not running again.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)