New York State collected millions in unclaimed bottle & can deposits

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An audit from the New York State Comptroller’s Office found the state collected more than $102.7 million in unclaimed 5 cent deposits from bottles and cans in the 2016 fiscal year.

That means over two billion returnable containers were not brought back for a deposit.

By law, the state keeps 80 percent of the unclaimed deposits. So-called “deposit initiators,” which are typically distributors, keep the rest.

Deposit initiators are required to file quarterly reports. The audit says 39 out of the 356 deposit initiators in New York did not file those reports. The Comptroller’s Office says the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance failed to penalize those deposit initiators.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the state’s Taxation Department needs to step up its monitoring procedures regarding bottle and can deposits.

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