The New Jersey Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to vote on whether or not to remove gift cards from the New Jersey Escheatment law that would require retailers to gather and store zip codes for every purchaser of gift cards in the state. The state says it would protect consumers, but several retailers have already announced that they would stop selling gift cards in New Jersey if the law goes into effect. From an Associated Press report:
Under budget legislation signed into law two years ago, the state can lay claim to gift cards that go unused for two years. The law requires gift card sellers to obtain ZIP codes from buyers so the state can claim the value of the cards. Without such information, the value of unused cards reverts to the company or to the state in which the company is incorporated.
New Jersey projected $65 million in revenue from unused cards, travelers checks and money orders the first year the law was expanded, but retailers sued and the law has stalled. The bill being considered Thursday would ensure it isn’t implemented.
Alhtouhg a similar bill has passed the New Jersey Assembly, the real issue is whether or not Gov. Chris Christie would sign it. He has already indicated he does not care about retail businesses and has said he would rather see them leave than change the law, so gift card sellers are not out of the woods yet.
Click here to read more from the Associated Press.