Frequently Asked Questions - Gifts

Most filers disclose sources of gifts valued at over $75. However, the following filers are only required to disclose sources of gifts valued at over $500:

  • Trustee for a College or University;
  • City Elected Officer, Candidate, or Appointee in a position paid less than $16,000 per year;
  • Member of the Board of Directors of a Sanitary District; or
  • Member, Candidate, or Appointee to a position on a School District Board of Education or ESC Governing Board.

R.C. 102.02(A)(2)(g); R.C. 102.022(B).

Yes, if the value of the gift is over the threshold amount for disclosure. For most filers, sources of all gifts valued at over $75 must be disclosed. The law requires the disclosure of all sources of gifts to the filer or to another person for the filer’s use or benefit. Even if the gift is from a personal friend, and the friend has no connection to the public agency the filer serves, the filer must disclose the source. R.C. 102.02(A)(2)(g); Adv. Op. No. 94-003.

The gift should be valued at its “fair market value.” “Fair market value” is the minimum amount you would have to pay to obtain the same item in the same geographical area at the same time the item was provided to you. If the fair market value of the item is over the threshold amount, you must disclose the source of the gift on your financial disclosure statement. Adv. Op. No. 96-003.

You should determine the “fair market value” for the ticket by checking to see what the lowest roundtrip commercial airfare is for a comparable flight from Columbus to your destination at the time of the trip.

If the amount you paid your friend for the trip ($150) is the fair market value, you do not have to disclose your friend as the source of a gift. If, however, the fair market value is more than $225, you can either pay your friend the difference or disclose your friend as the source of a gift because the difference between the amount you paid ($150) and the fair market value is more than $75. Adv. Op. No. 96-003.

If you receive more than one gift from the same source, you are required to determine the total fair market value of all the gifts. If the total value of the gifts from any one source exceeds the threshold amount for disclosure, you must disclose the source on your financial disclosure statement. R.C. 102.02(A)(2)(g); Adv. Op. No. 94-003.

No. Contributions made to your campaign fund are not gifts to you. However, you are required to disclose campaign contributions on your campaign finance report. For more information about campaign contributions, contact the Elections Services Division of the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office—(614) 466-2585.

However, you may be required to disclose your campaign committee as the source of a gift to you if it provided you what would otherwise be a gift valued at over $75.

Yes. The “source” of a gift required to be reported under Section 102.02 may be composed of one person or a group of persons.

If the source is a group, you should disclose enough information about the group so it is possible to determine the members of the group. For example, if your coworkers provided the gift to you, you would need to provide enough information about the group (office staff, legal staff, etc.) to make the disclosure meaningful. You are not, however, required to list the names of the individuals in the group in such a situation unless any person contributed more than $75 to the group gift. Adv. Op. No. 2002-01.

Yes, if the value of the gift is over $75. Even though the gift is given to you and your spouse, it is a gift “for your use or benefit.” R.C. 102.02(A)(2)(g). You are not required to disclose most family members as sources of gifts.