While this year’s Maryland State Fair is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair has received permission, following all proper protocols, to hold limited livestock shows for Maryland youth and open livestock exhibitors only. Since the traditional state fair was modified, Comptroller Peter Franchot’s Unclaimed Property unit needed an innovative way to reach people in lieu of their popular booth in the Exhibition Hall at the Timonium Fairgrounds. The Comptroller’s Office will sponsor a daily social media campaign called “2020 Visions of the Maryland State Fair” while urging visitors to search the unclaimed funds list.
“Every year, Maryland State Fair visitors check our list of Unclaimed Property and some end up with thousands of dollars in their bank account,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Since the fair is closed this year to the public, we decided to not only bring our Unclaimed Property campaign to the people via social media, we also will partner with the State Fair to share livestock show highlights and celebrate the hard work of the young competitors from across Maryland.”
Each year, youth from all Maryland counties work diligently to make it to the state fair competition. The 2020 Maryland State Fair Youth and Open Livestock Show kicks off on Friday, August 28, and runs through September 7. Videos and photos of the closed events will be shared on Comptroller of Maryland social media platforms to keep visitors updated on the shows and happenings.
“The Maryland State Fair has had a great relationship with the Comptroller’s Office over many decades and that continues with Comptroller Franchot,” said Maryland State Fair General Manager Andy Cashman. “We appreciate Comptroller Franchot’s understanding of the importance of agriculture to the State of Maryland and the Maryland State Fair and Agriculture Society’s mission to support agriculture education and preserve and promote Maryland’s agricultural roots.”
In 2019, approximately 1,300 fair visitors checked the database at the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property booth hoping to find their name in a list of more than 80,000 accounts worth nearly $64 million. Last year, more than 250 people discovered over $271,000 in funds that were rightfully theirs.
Financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations are required to report to the Comptroller any bank accounts, security deposits, wages, insurance benefits and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been unclaimed after three years. In addition to booths at fairs and festivals, the Comptroller’s Office looks for owners of unclaimed funds by searching tax records.
Taxpayers can visit the website to search the Unclaimed Property database at any time to see if their name is on the list. The Comptroller urges anyone who finds their name to contact his office at 410-767-1700 (Central Maryland) or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383 to find out how to reclaim their lost property.