By Treasurer David McRae
Recently, I joined thousands of Mississippians on a live phone call about our work at your State Treasury. It was incredibly helpful for me to hear what questions Mississippians had; I gained more than one idea as to how we can serve you and your family even better from this conversation. As I reflect back, I wanted to take a minute to share a little of what we discussed on the call.
First, your Treasury has returned more than $45 million of unclaimed money since I took office in January 2020. This has been a massive economic stimulus that didn’t cost taxpayers a penny. Many on the call wanted to know how one could learn if they were the rightful owners of any unclaimed money. The answer is this: Please visit Treasury.MS.gov/Search or call my office at (601) 359-3600.
Next, we visited about the college savings plans the state manages. There are two. The first, MACS, allows families to contribute to a tax advantaged savings account. The second, MPACT, enables Mississippi residents to lock in today’s tuition rates and prepay a child’s college degree.
As is to be expected, there were a lot of questions about the what-ifs in life. What if my child gets a scholarship? What if they decide to join the military? What if they choose a two-year program instead of a four-year? All of these are possibilities when trying to predict a young child’s educational ambitions, but Mississippi’s plans are built to be flexible and to accommodate the unforeseen. That’s why many funds can be rolled over to another beneficiary or applied to educational expenses outside of just your college tuition. If you have any questions about the what-ifs in life, please contact my college savings team at [email protected]
gov or (601) 359-3600.
Finally, I updated Mississippians on the wonkier side of the Treasury: Investments. I am proud to report we have maintained and improved the state’s credit rating over the last two years, allowing us to restructure our debt and save taxpayers nearly $100 million.
There is still more work to do, but I’ll keep fighting on the basis of three key values.
First, I want to put customer service first. At the Treasury, we’re modernizing systems and moving things online. We’re streamlining processes. And we’re being proactive about the way we reach out to Mississippians. These allow us to increase transparency and provide you with better access to your state government.
Second, I am working to conserve your taxpayer dollars. Whether it’s protecting credit scores, growing our investment assets, or returning unclaimed money, I am going to keep the bottom line top of mind.
And finally, I am fighting to empower the people, not the government. That means getting unclaimed money out of the state’s hands and into yours. It means giving families more options to save for college, without just shifting that cost to taxpayers. And it means investing wisely.
I hope to catch you on our next call.