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Visit http://ethics.ga.gov/ to learn more about Campaign Finance.
Losing an election does not end your filing responsibilities with the State Ethics Commission.
If your situation meets all of the following criteria, you may file a final report to terminate future filing requirements:
The final report will cover the period beginning where your last report ended and ending on the day the final report is filed.
If you do not file a final report after the election, you will be required to file reports until you file a final report.
No. By filing a DOI you have only achieved candidate status for the purposes of reporting campaign contributions and expenditures on the CCDR (Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports). In an election year, your PFDS is required to be filed within 15 days of qualifying.
Maximum contribution limits can be found here: http://ethics.ga.gov/contribution-limits
Campaign contributions may only be used to defray ordinary and necessary expenses. Ordinary and necessary is defined at O.C.G.A. § 21-5-3(18)
An In-Kind contribution is any item of value other than money received by a candidate or any committee. In-kind contributions are treated the same as if the candidate had received cash from the contributor and are subject to the maximum contribution limits. Additionally, in-kind contributions must be aggregated with other contributions, in-kind or cash, by the same contributor. See Rule 189-06-.07
Late filing fees for CCDRs can be paid out of campaign funds. However, late filing fees for PFDS cannot be paid with campaign funds. If using campaign funds to pay for a CCDR late fee, then that late fee payment must be recorded as an expenditure on the applicable CCDR.
An unsuccessful candidate can file a Final Report & Termination Statement within 10 days after the general, as long as they are not in office, has no campaign debt, and a zero net balance.
No. A TBD is only due if you exceed $2,500.
There is no grace period to file a PFDS.
The Affidavit of Exemption is a written, sworn statement completed by a candidate or public officer if they do not plan to accept more than $2,500 in contributions or expend more than $2,500 in expenditures during an election cycle. Filing the Affidavit exempts the candidate or public officer from Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) filing requirements.
An Affidavit of Exemption is filed with the candidate’s or public officer’s local filing officer. Generally, the local filing officer for municipal candidates and public officers is the city clerk of the municipality in which the candidate is seeking office or in which the public officer holds office and the local filing officer for county candidates and public officers is the elections superintendent for the county in which the candidate is seeking office or in which the public officer holds office.
Candidates for county or municipal offices or public officers currently holding a county or municipal office who do not intend to accept more than$2,500 in contributions or expend more than $2,500 in expenditures during an election cycle may file the Affidavit of Exemption.
The Affidavit of Exemption may be filed at any time during an election cycle. However, best practice is for a candidate or public officer to file an Affidavit at the beginning of each election cycle, immediately after qualifying for office, or immediately after filing a Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions (DOI). If a candidate files an Affidavit after CCDRs become due, the candidate is responsible for filing all CCDRs due prior to filing the Affidavit.
The Affidavit of Exemption is good for one election cycle. After an election cycle concludes, a public officer will need to file a new Affidavit to be exempt from CCDR filing requirements in the new election cycle.
If a candidate or public officer exceeds the $2,500 limit but does not exceed $5,000 in contributions and expenditures, then they must file a June 30th CCDR and December 31st CCDR in the election year. If the candidate or public officer exceeds $5,000 in contributions and expenditures, then they must file all CCDRs due in an election year as prescribed by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(c) (2)
If a candidate or public officer does not file an Affidavit of Exemption, then they must file all CCDRs in accordance with the filing schedule found at O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(c).
A statement filed by certain public officers and all candidates in which they disclose fiduciary positions, business interests, real estate interests, and investment interests that they or their spouse held in the previous calendar year.
An individual who is appointed to a vacant elected public office files his or her first PFDS the year after they take office. Ex: John Doe is appointed to a vacant superior court office and is sworn into office on August 1, 2017. John Doe files his first PFDS in 2018.
In an election year, an incumbent seeking re-election must file a PFDS within 15 days of qualifying. However if the incumbent holds a statewide office, then he/she must file a PFDS within 7 days of qualifying in an election year.
Review your records. Identify what you should have filed and what you did file. If you feel the late fee is incorrect contact the Commission by calling 404-463-1980 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Only if it has been paid with campaign funds.