Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Courtesy Notice – September 22, 2016 – Re: September 29, 2016 First Pre-Election Filing Deadline and Disclosure Requirement Reminders

Date: September 22, 2016

To: Candidates and their controlled committees
Primarily Formed Candidate Committees
Primarily Formed Ballot Measure Committees
General Purpose Committees (Including Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committees)

From: Jarrod Flores, Campaign Finance Officer

Re: September 29, 2016 First Pre-Election Filing Deadline and Disclosure Requirement Reminders


The San Francisco Ethics Commission wants to take this opportunity to provide you with the following reminders about the September 29, 2016 First Pre-Election filing deadline that applies to San Francisco candidates, primarily formed ballot measure committees, primarily formed candidate committees, and general purpose committees (including Major Donors and Independent Expenditure Committees).

Required Filers.

  • All committees controlled by San Francisco candidates being voted upon in the November 8, 2016 election. When a candidate or officeholder controls more than one committee for the purpose of election to office, all committees of that candidate or officeholder must file pre-election statements each time any committee statement is due (see Cal. Code Regulation Section §18405);
  • All San Francisco candidates without committees being voted upon in the November 8, 2016 election. (These filers file a Form 470 covering the calendar year and need not file if they have already filed a 470 for the current election and year.);
  • All committees primarily formed to support or oppose local candidates or ballot measures being voted upon in the November 8, 2016 election; and
  • General purpose committees that make $500 or more in contributions or expenditures during the pre-election period (excludes payments for costs related to the establishment and administration of the committee, such as legal and accounting fees and other expenses incurred in setting up and running a sponsored committee).

Period Covered.

Please remember that the September Pre-Election statement covers the period between: (a) the day after the closing date of the previous statement filed, through September 24, 2016; or (b) if no statement was filed in 2016, the period covered is January 1, 2016 through September 24, 2016.

Late Reporting Period Filings.

The attached table summarizes the reporting requirements for the current Late Reporting Period for the November 8, 2016 election. The period begins August 10, 2016 and covers through November 8, 2016. Please note that SFEC Forms 162 and 163 are only required to be filed during the 90 period before an election. Refer to the attached table for more information and contact the Ethics Commission if you have any questions about how these requirements apply to your committee.

Reminder: Independent Expenditure Reporting Requirement.

Effective January 1, 2016, FPPC Form 465 is required to be filed by a general purpose recipient or independent expenditure committee only if it has made independent expenditures of $1,000 or more supporting or opposing a measure during a signature gathering period.

Reminder: Certain Administrative Payments No Longer Trigger Reporting Requirement.

Effective July 25, 2015, all San Francisco general purpose committees, including Independent Expenditure and Major Donor Committees, must file pre-election statements before any election held in the City and County of San Francisco at which a candidate for City elective office or City measure is on the ballot, if the committee makes contributions or expenditures totaling $500 or more in the applicable pre-election period. This filing does NOT apply if the committee’s only payments are for costs related to the establishment and administration of that committee. The excluded costs include those for legal and accounting fees and other expenses incurred in setting up and running a sponsored committee.

Reminder: Disclaimer Charts.

Disclaimer requirements (i.e., “Paid for by” rules) for all City campaigns, including ballot measure campaigns, have changed to supplement state law requirements. The Ethics Commission has produced a number of Disclaimer Charts that explain how to comply with the new rules. To view these charts please use the following link: https://www.sfethics.org/ethics/2015/07/announcement-of-important-changes-to-san-franciscos-campaign-finance-ordinance-now-in-effect.html

Avoid Late Filing Penalties.

Please remember that late filings are subject to a $10-per day late fee for paper reports, and a $25-per day late fee for electronic reports. Filing all statements by the required deadline ensures timely transparency to the public about your committee’s activities, and avoids late filing penalties that cost your committee both time and money.

We appreciate your attention to these important public disclosure requirements. If you have any questions or require further assistance with your filing obligations, please feel free to contact our office for further assistance. We can be reached from 8am to 5pm at (415) 252-3100.

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