My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

If you missed our recent unclaimed property auction in Fort Lauderdale, you are in luck because our office is hosting a second auction next week in Orlando!

Auction Catalog coverEven larger than last month’s, this auction contains nearly 60,000 individual items, totaling roughly $630,000 in reserve value! In total, 344 lots will hit the auction block.

Our live auction will take place on Saturday, with a full-day public preview hosted on Friday. The public preview will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm ET on Friday, August 25 at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center, and the auction will start promptly at 10:00am ET in the same location.

These items, originating from safe deposit boxes that became unclaimed, make up a small portion of our overall unclaimed property program.

Most accounts come from financial institutions and represent funds from uncashed payroll checks, stocks and bonds, utility or cable deposit refunds that you may have never known existed. Take a second to search online for an account in your name at www.FLTreasureHunt.gov — we estimate that 1 in 5 will find something!

Each time our team returns an unclaimed property check to a Floridian, they’re delivering funds that can be used to buy back-to-school supplies, cover unexpected costs or be put towards a family outing. By working to return these funds back to their rightful owners, and we’ve returned more than $4 billion, we are also helping to support our local economies.

We had a great turnout at our first auction, and I’m sure next week’s will be the same. If you’re in the Orlando area, come by. If not, visit our website to see if we have unclaimed property owed to you. New accounts are uploaded daily, so an account in your name could pop up at any time.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Patronis
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


News of Interest

SaintPetersBlog: Takeaways from Tallahassee — A billion-dollar fight over bonds
A federal court’s ruling this week in Kansas has bolstered Florida’s lawsuit against the feds over U.S. savings bonds it holds as unclaimed property. In 2016, then-Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater sued the feds for over $1 billion — the amount of all the bonds he held as unclaimed property. He said the U.S. Treasury refused to make good on those bonds; current CFO Jimmy Patronis this week added it "has prevented (us) from securing full access to the bonds or owner information so that we could attempt to inform original owners."

Builder: Florida home sales rose 3.7% in 2nd quarter
Led by Tampa Bay and Orlando, Central Florida's major metro areas dominated the ranks of job growth in the past year by larger cities in the United States, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among cities with at least 1 million population, Tampa Bay's over-the-year increase in employment in June rose 3.6 percent, while smaller Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area registered a 4 percent gain — the biggest percentage bump among the country's 50 largest metros, BLS said.

Tampa Bay Times: A record 60 million-plus tourists have visited Florida so far in 2017
Gov. Rick Scott used the backdrop of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa this morning to announce that a record-breaking 60.7 million tourists have visited the state so far this year. That represents a 4.1 percent increase over the first half of 2016, and includes 53.2 million domestic visitors, 5.3 million overseas visitors and 2.2 million Canadian visitors. In 2016, Florida drew a record 112 million visitors and kept the momentum going with a record 31.1 million visitors in the first quarter of this year.

InsuranceNewsNet: 25 Years Later, Hurricane Andrew’s Lessons Still Resonate
The Insurance Information Institute issued the following news release: Hurricane Andrew struck Florida on August 24, 1992, and the upheaval the Category 5 storm created for the property insurance market remains a reminder of the necessity of managing risk and striving for resiliency in the nation's most disaster-prone state, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Among those lessons was an awakening to Florida's exposure to catastrophic loss.

Miami Herald: Here’s how small businesses should prepare for a bad storm’s aftermath
As the remnants of Tropical Storm Emily impacted our coastal areas recently, we’re reminded how important it is to prepare for and respond to natural disasters to minimize losses and ensure long-term viability. The actions a business takes in the first few days after a loss can often determine the success of its recovery and settlement of insurance claims for property damages and lost profits. Following are tasks that well-prepared businesses incorporate in their continuity plans.

How to Avoid a Perfect Storm: Free Disaster Preparedness Workshop Next Week in Pensacola

Disaster Preparedness flyerNext Wednesday in Pensacola, the Department of Financial Services will co-host a community disaster preparedness workshop alongside the Office of Representative Frank White. As the Atlantic Hurricane Season heats up, it’s more important than ever for Floridians to be as informed and prepared as possible.

Free to all area residents, participants will learn tips to ensure that they have adequate insurance coverage to protect their home and belongings in the event of a storm. They will also gain one-on-one access to the Department’s insurance specialists who can answer insurance-related questions. As insurance policies can vary, participants are strongly encouraged to bring a copy of their insurance policy to the event.

WHAT:  Free Disaster Preparedness Workshop

WHEN:  Wednesday, August 23 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. CT

WHERE:  WSRE-TV, Amos Studio, 1000 College Boulevard, Pensacola, Fla. 32504

Florida Economic Briefs

Florida sees big growth in tourism
The number of people visiting Florida from out of state in the second quarter grew by 6.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The biggest growth came from people visiting from other states in the US. The total number of visitors during the period from April to the end of June was 29.9 million.
Source: VISIT FLORIDA Research

Venture capital flows into Florida
There were 16 deals representing just over $291 million dollars in venture capital completed by Florida companies in the second quarter of 2017. This is almost twice the amount invested in the state in the first quarter, which saw just under $157 million in venture capital.
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers