CEO 75-59 -- March 31, 1975
DISCLOSURE OF STOCKS AND BONDS WHEN MINIMUM 15 PERCENT REQUIREMENT IS REACHED
To: J. Bart Budetti, City Attorney, Hollywood
Prepared by: Gene L. "Hal" Johnson
In order to ascertain whether his holdings in stocks and bonds meet the minimum percentage required for disclosure pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(e), F. S. (1974 Supp.) the disclosing person must add together all holdings which represent a financial interest in a single business entity, regardless of the nature of the holdings. The distinction between the various types of certificates which may be held is not meaningful within the intent of the disclosure law, i.e., to indicate significant ownership interest in particular business entities.
If a person owns numerous certificates of stock, certificates of deposit, or other such certificates various ones of which relate to the same business entity, must they be added together to determine whether the minimum 15 percent of one's total assets requisite for asset disclosure is reached pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(e), F. S., or are they each considered separately?
It is our view that all certificates representing a financial interest in the same business entity must be added together to determine whether the requisite minimum of 15 percent of your total assets is reached and therefore must be disclosed pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(e), supra, as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida.
Although various types of certificates, i.e., stocks, bonds, etc., evidence different financial interests in a business entity, it is our opinion that for purposes of fulfilling the disclosure requirements of s. 112.3145(1)(e), supra, this distinction is not meaningful and, in fact, could defeat the intended purpose of this disclosure provision, i.e., to indicate a significant ownership interest in a business entity. We therefore conclude that, in determining whether your ownership interest in a particular entity amounts to 15 percent or more of your total assets, you should treat all financial interests in that entity as a single asset.