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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mississippi floats changes to abandoned property laws

Like other states before, Mississippi has taken up the task of changing its unclaimed property laws to increase state revenues. Part of the legislature's attempt to repeal the current law and implement changes is to remove the exempt status of "gift certificates" from the ranks of abandoned property that can be claimed by the state after a dormancy period has lapsed.

HB 249, introduced Jan. 14, 2013, by Rep. Mark Baker, R-74th District, would establish a dormancy period for "gift certificates" of three years and a reporting requirement for gift certificate issuers. The bill said that, after that three-year dormancy period had expired, "the amount abandoned is deemed to be sixty percent (60%) of the certificate's face value."

According to gift card rating site ScripSmart Inc., no legal definition exists of what constitutes a gift card or gift certificate in Mississippi. Unclaimed property specialist Keane said the Mississippi legislature has proposed similar bills in the past, "each of which died in committee." end of article

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