CEO 74‑33 ‑‑ November 1, 1974
DEFINED AS ASSETS OWNED DURING
PRECEDING TAXABLE YEAR
To: William Nelson, Representative, District 47, Melbourne
Prepared by: Gerald Knight
Section 112.3145(1)(e), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74‑177, Laws of Florida, does not refer to the preceding taxable year in enumerating assets to be disclosed on CE Form 1. However, the definition of the term "disclosure period" in s. 112.312(4), F. S., clearly evinces that disclosure of assets is to be of assets held during the disclosure period, January 1 through December 31 immediately preceding the date on which the financial disclosure statement is to be filed. Therefore, s. 112.3145(1)(e), supra, requires disclosure of all assets held during the preceding taxable year, with the exception of those assets specifically excluded by statute.
Does the disclosure of assets required by question 6 of the commission's Form 1 apply to such assets owned at the time of disclosure or to such assets owned during the preceding taxable year?
Pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(e), F. S., as created by s. 5 of Ch. 74‑177, Laws of Florida, the statement of disclosure shall include:
A list of the total assets of each public officer or candidate, listed in order of size, including any asset which is equal to or less than fifteen percent of the total; any real property not situate in Florida and the personal residence and recreational or vacation homes of each public officer or candidate shall be excluded from the list. Each listed asset shall be identified only by type, location, address, or legal description.
Although the language quoted above does not make specific reference to the "preceding taxable year," it seems clear from the definition of the term "disclosure period" in s. 112.312(4), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74‑177, supra, that the Legislature envisioned a disclosure of assets held during the disclosure period ‑‑ which is "the period extending from January 1 through December 31 immediately preceding the date on which the financial disclosure statement . . . is required to be filed" ‑‑ rather than at the time of filing the disclosure statement. To conclude otherwise would tend to defeat the purpose of the disclosure requirements by permitting a person who is required to make disclosure to dispose of assets immediately prior to the filing of his disclosure statement and thereby avoid disclosure. There is nothing to suggest that such was the intent of the Legislature. Therefore, unless and until otherwise clarified by the Legislature or the courts, we are of the view that s. 112.3145(1)(e), supra, requires disclosure of all assets held during the "preceding taxable year" except, of course, those assets specifically excluded by the statute.