Reporting Staff Reimbursement

The following rule was adopted by the Texas Ethics Commission to allow a simplified method for reporting the use of political funds to reimburse a staff member for political expenditures made from the staff member's personal funds. Following the rule are examples of reporting under the rule.

§ 20.62.  Reporting Staff Reimbursement

(a) Political expenditures made out of personal funds by a staff member of an officeholder, a candidate, or a political committee with the intent to seek reimbursement from the officeholder, candidate, or political committee that in the aggregate do not exceed $5,000 during the reporting period may be reported as follows IF the reimbursement occurs during the same reporting period that the initial expenditure was made:

(1) the amount of political expenditures that in the aggregate exceed $100 and that are made during the reporting period, the full name and address of the persons to whom the expenditures are made and the dates and purposes of the expenditures; and

(2) included with the total amount or a specific listing of the political expenditures of $100 or less made during the reporting period. 

(b) Except as provided by subsection (a) of this section, a political expenditure made out of personal funds by a staff member of an officeholder, a candidate, or a political committee with the intent to seek reimbursement from the officeholder, candidate, or political committee must be reported as follows:

(1) the aggregate amount of the expenditures made by the staff member as of the last day of the reporting period is reported as a loan to the officeholder, candidate, or political committee;

(2) the expenditure made by the staff member is reported as a political expenditure by the officeholder, candidate, or political committee; and

(3) the reimbursement to the staff member to repay the loan is reported as a political expenditure by the officeholder, candidate, or political committee.

Example 1:

Javier Reyes, a candidate for Governor, sends one of his staff members to Target to purchase $500 in office supplies for his campaign. The staff member uses $500 of her personal funds to purchase the supplies, and is reimbursed by Candidate Reyes from his campaign funds during the same reporting period. Because the amount at issue is under $5,000 and the reimbursement occurred during the same reporting period, the method described under subsection (a) is used. On his next campaign finance report, Candidate Reyes will simply report a $500 political expenditure to Target as if he had made the expenditure himself from campaign funds.

Example 2:

Bob Smith, a candidate for State Representative, sends one of his staff members to Target to purchase $5,500 in office supplies for his campaign. The staff member uses $5,500 of his personal funds to purchase the supplies, and is reimbursed by Candidate Smith during the same reporting period. In this case, because the amount at issue exceeded $5,000 during the reporting period, the reporting method described under subsection (b) must be used. Therefore, a three step process must be used on Candidate Smith's next campaign finance report:

1. Candidate Smith first discloses a $5,500 loan from his staff member;

2. Candidate Smith then discloses a $5,500 political expenditure to Target on the same report; and

3. Candidate Smith also discloses a $5,500 political expenditure to his staff member for the reimbursement of the loan on the same report.

Example 3:

Janet Lee, a candidate for State Senator, sends one of her staff members to Target to purchase $500 in office supplies for her campaign. The staff member uses $500 of his personal funds to purchase the supplies, and is NOT reimbursed by Candidate Lee during the same reporting period. In this case, since the staff member was not reimbursed by Candidate Lee during the same reporting period, the reporting method described under subsection (b) must be used. Therefore, a three step process must be used:

1. Candidate Lee first discloses a $500 loan from her staff member on her next campaign finance report;

2. Candidate Lee then discloses a $500 political expenditure to Target on the same report; and

3. When Candidate Lee reimburses her staff member, she will disclose a $500 political expenditure to her staff member for the reimbursement of the loan on the report covering that period.

Therefore, if Candidate Lee's staff member made the $500 expenditure to Target during the period covered by the January semiannual report, but was not reimbursed until the period covered by the July semiannual report, steps one and two would be disclosed on her January semiannual report, and step three would be shown on her July semiannual report.

History

At its October 2007 meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission adopted a change to rule ยง 20.62. The rule initially became effective February 2007 and allows for a simplified method for reporting the use of political funds to reimburse a staff member for political expenditures made from the staff member's personal funds. [Reimbursements to staff were previously reported pursuant to Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 450 (2003)]. The October change allows more filers to qualify for the simplified method of reporting by increasing the reporting threshold from $500 to $5,000.

Last Revision: July 24, 2014
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