Pennsylvania Treasury Issues Refunds to Luzerne County Residents for Vehicle Registration Fees

Five dollarsPhoto by Karolina Grabowska on

HARRISBURG, PA — On Tuesday, Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced that the Pennsylvania Treasury Department has successfully refunded approximately 31,000 Luzerne County residents. These refunds are a result of the county eliminating its $5 annual vehicle registration fee.

Residents who had paid for two-year vehicle registration renewals before the fee was scrapped were eligible for these refunds. Most recipients received a $5 refund, but some, depending on their payment timing, received up to $20.

“Working with Luzerne County, we were able to make these refunds without requiring the affected residents to take any action at all,” said Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity. “This wasn’t a traditional form of unclaimed property, but it was the most efficient way to get this money back where it belongs.”

Luzerne County Council Chair John Lombardo expressed gratitude for the collaborative effort. “Luzerne County was happy to work with our State Treasurer’s office to get this refund out to citizens in the most economical way. Thank you very much to Stacy Garrity and her staff for assisting our administration in this effort.”

In February, Luzerne County transferred $221,200 of excess registration fees to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property. County officials promptly submitted a claim on behalf of all 31,253 residents due for a refund. This expedited approach ensured that residents received their money without additional bureaucratic hurdles.

Boosting Financial Transparency: Luzerne County’s Refund Success Story

The initiative highlights the importance of effective government collaboration and transparency in handling public funds. By streamlining the refund process, the Treasury Department and Luzerne County have set a precedent for future efforts to return money to taxpayers efficiently.

The broader context of this refund initiative ties into the Pennsylvania Treasury’s ongoing mission to manage unclaimed property. Currently, the Treasury holds more than $4.5 billion in unclaimed property, waiting to be claimed by over one in ten Pennsylvanians. The average value of a claim is $1,600.

Unclaimed property can include dormant bank accounts, lapsed insurance policies, and other valuables such as contents from safe deposit boxes. By law, businesses must report unclaimed property to the Treasury after three years of inactivity. This legal framework ensures that individuals can reclaim lost or forgotten assets, promoting financial accountability.

For the residents of Luzerne County, this refund process has not only provided immediate financial relief but also served as a reminder of the resources available through the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. Those with questions about the vehicle registration fee refunds can email the Bureau of Unclaimed Property at or call 800-222-2046.

In summary, the successful issuance of refunds to Luzerne County residents marks a significant achievement in public service delivery. It underscores the commitment of state and local governments to act in the best interests of their constituents, ensuring that even small amounts of money are returned to their rightful owners.

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