Treasurer Ball speaks at Lunch and Learn

The 38th State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Allison Ball was the keynote speaker at the Bell County Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn at Pine Mountain State Resort Park Thursday.

“I was saying a little while ago that Jenny Wiley State Park is my state park in my county, and you always love your home area,” Ball said. “But this Pine Mountain State Park…it’s just an unbelievable area here.”

Not only was Ball in Bell County for the Chamber Lunch and Learn, but she was visiting because she is focusing on Bell County for unclaimed property returns.

“I’m working with Judge Brock to make sure that we are identifying folks to get those back to them,” she explained. “He’s going to be doing some work to help me in the next little bit, so I tell people to watch what he’s doing.”

According to Ball, she is really doing a big push when it comes to this project.

“There’s about $2.5 million in unclaimed property associated with Bell County,” she said. “It may not be all folks that are still here, but they have been here at one point in time. I really want to make sure I get as much back as I can because people need every dollar, and I want to get it back to them.”

She explained that she sees one of the core functions of her job is being the watchdog for tax payer dollars.

“We do that in a variety of ways,” she said. “One way I have done that is I stopped a $5.3 million fraud attempt on Kentucky a few months ago and those are core parts of being a watchdog.”

Ball said that people get that she is protecting their money from being misused, and she makes sure that whatever comes out of her office is legal and constitutional.

“There are other things that go along with being a watchdog and one of them is making sure that people know what is happening to their taxpayer dollars,” Ball explained. “I launched a transparency website, www.transparency.ky.gov, and you can Google your government and see where your money is going from a state level.”

She encouraged people to look at that website because people want to know where their money is going.

“This is a great way to have access to that,” she said of the launching of the transparency website.

She said that unclaimed property is something that is always encouraging people to keep a check on.

“I’m always telling people to check www.missingmoney.com because you may not realize that you’ve got money, your parents may have money, people you go to church with or you work with,” she continued to say of the website. “That is something that you need to check at least once a year.”

A hot button issue Ball is teaching is financial literacy. Just last year, she pushed to get a bill passed to make it a high school graduation requirement.

“You have training on this before you get out of school and that passed, and it is now the law,” she said.

Another thing that she spoke about that she said doesn’t always get the opportunity to talk about is a program called Stable Kentucky. They have a website at www.stablekentucky.com and it’s a savings program.

“It’s a savings and investment program for people with disabilities,” she explained of the program. “It’s tax free dollars when you put money in there and you can save up to $15,000 a year without jeopardizing benefits, so it’s hugely beneficial for folks that can benefit from these.”

Ball will be traveling back to Bell County to work with Judge-Executive Albey Brock on the unclaimed property program and said she’s excited about the trip.