Treasurer Stacy Garrity Announces New Transparency Portal Feature Showing County-Level Data for Consumer Programs
Celebrating Sunshine Week by Making More Treasury Data Easily Accessible
Harrisburg, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity marked Sunshine Week today by announcing a new feature on Treasury’s award-winning Transparency Portal that gives the public easy access to county- and state-level data about Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property program, the PA 529 College & Career Savings Program, Keystone Scholars, and the PA ABLE Savings Program.
“As a fiscal watchdog, I’m always looking for ways to increase government transparency, which is what Sunshine Week is all about. Making this data widely available will give the public more insight into Treasury’s programs than ever before.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
The new feature includes four interactive maps of Pennsylvania displaying data for unclaimed property, PA 529, Keystone Scholars, and PA ABLE. Users can now see county-by-county details such as:
- How much unclaimed property is available;
- How much unclaimed property has been returned since Jan. 1, 2021;
- The number of open PA 529 and PA ABLE accounts;
- Total assets in PA 529 and PA ABLE; and
- The number of registered Keystone Scholars accounts.
Statewide data is also available, and the data will be updated quarterly.
“Highlighting Treasury’s powerful savings tools and our work to return unclaimed property will encourage Pennsylvanians to use these programs. I want people in every corner of the state to know the great things Treasury has to offer them and their families to improve their financial wellness.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
Unclaimed property includes things like dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, forgotten stocks, insurance policies, tangible property like the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, and more. Treasury is currently seeking the owners of more than $4 billion in unclaimed property. One in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property, and the average value of a claim is $1,600.
The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program is designed to help Pennsylvania families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses – including universities, community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeships, and K-12 education – with significant state and federal tax advantages.
Keystone Scholars jumpstarts educational savings by providing a $100 investment for every child born to, or adopted by, a Pennsylvania family on or after January 1, 2019, using no taxpayer money. The funds are invested by Treasury, and can be used for qualifying technical training, collegiate and apprenticeship expenses once a child turns 18.
PA ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are a tax-free way for Pennsylvanians with qualifying disabilities and their families to save without affecting eligibility for important disability benefits.
Information on all of Treasury’s consumer programs can be found online at patreasury.gov/consumer/.
Treasury’s Transparency Portal launched in 2017 and includes data back to 2014. In 2021, Treasurer Garrity added details of Ledger 5 to the Transparency Portal. Ledger 5 is a tool the state uses to account for unappropriated expenses. This is the first time taxpayers have been able to see this information.
The Transparency Portal has won numerous awards, including most recently the 2022 Government Experience Award from the Center for Digital Government. Visit patreasury.gov/transparency to see all of the tools it has to offer.
Sunshine Week, which runs from March 12 to March 18, is an annual event designed to educate the public about the importance of open government initiatives. It takes place every year during the week that includes March 16, the birthday of James Madison and National Freedom of Information Day.
Madison, the fourth president of the United States, once wrote that "[a] popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
Madison also wrote that "the only Guardian of true liberty" is "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge."