Contribution Disclosure Opinions

Contribution Disclosure Opinions are the positions of the legal department in regards to the interpretation of the Quentin L. Kopp Conflict of Interest provision, which applies solely to the Board of Equalization. (Gov. Code section 15626). The general rule is that a Member of the Board is disqualified from participating in an adjudicatory proceeding pending before the Board of Equalization if any party, participant, or agent has contributed $250 or more to a Member within the preceding 12 months.

After July 2017, the Board of Equalization is focused on Property Tax, Tax on Insurers and Alcoholic Beverage Tax cases. Opinions related to contribution disclosure issues that may continue to arise are summarized below.

Please email with the opinion number to request a copy of an opinion summarized below.

Section To From Date Summary
90-1 Hon. Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 07/02/90 Provisions of SB1738; “Preceding 12 months” Includes 12 Months Prior to January 1, 1998; State Assessee Value Setting is not Adjudicatory; and Return of Contribution Required When Member Knows of Both Contribution and Pending Hearing
90-2 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 10/29/90 Implementation of SB1738 Disclosure Requirements: Limited Partnerships, Board Requirements, and Local Entities; Aggregation of Contribution from Party and Agent; Corporate Name Change or Dissolution; Postponement at Disqualified Board Member's Request; and Board Regulations Cannot Require More Frequent Reporting
90-3 E. L. Sorensen, Jr. Mary Armstrong 12/05/90 Analysis of 1738; General Discussion of Provisions of Legislation, See Also Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen.1/18/91
90-5 Jay Rappaport Mary Armstrong 12/20/90 Correct Application of Government Code §15626; Aggregation of Contributions by Several Members of the Same Law Firm when Required
91-1 Hon. Gray Davis E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 01/08/91 Itel Rail Corporation; Contributions by a PAC are not Reportable
91-2 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 01/08/91 Contributions to a PAC under $250 do not have to be Aggregated; Use of Ticket Purchased by a PAC is Not a Campaign Contribution
91-3 Cindy Rambo E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 01/18/91 Insurance Tax Rate Adjustment Hearings are not Adjudicatory Proceedings
91-4 Steven Kamp Mary Armstrong 03/12/91 Nonappearance Agenda Items are not Adjudicatory Matters; Contribution by Member of Firm Who Does Not Represent Taxpayer is Not Reportable
91-5 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 03/13/91 Meeting of 3/12/91; Procedure when Three Members have Received Contributions
91-6 E. L. Sorensen Mary Armstrong 03/14/91 WITHDRAWN
91-7 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 03/25/91 Federal Agencies are Parties and Must File Disclosure Statements
91-8 Hon. Brad Sherman Mary Armstrong 03/19/91 Returning $1 from $250 Contribution Allows Participation
91-9 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 04/03/91 Confidential Information; Campaign Contribution Disclosure Forms are Public Records Open to Inspection
91-10 Coopers & Lybrand Janice Masterton 04/03/91 Bauer Stock Trust; Who must File Disclosure Statements when Petitioner is a Trust
91-11 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 04/29/91 Executive Life Insurance Company; Disclosure Forms Must be Filed for a Conservatorship
91-12 Hon. Brad Sherman Robert Brenner 04/25/91 In Response to a Board Request, Staff Agreed to Review All Cases Scheduled for April 30 and May 2, 1991 to Make Sure All Representatives, Including “Sleeper Agents” were Identified
91-13 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 05/29/91 Contribution from Former Agents on Another Petition Do Not Require Disqualification
91-14 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 05/19/91 State Assessees; Board Meeting to Set Values for State Assessees is Not an Adjudicatory Proceeding
91-15 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 06/05/91 Equitable Life Assurance Society-U.S.; Contributions by Subsidiaries are not Disclosable where Subsidiaries have No Financial Interest in the Proceeding and are Not Agents or Participants
91-16 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 07/01/91 Brother International Corporation; Charitable Contribution in Board Member's Name is Not a Campaign Contribution
91-17 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 07/01/91 Preceding Twelve Months; Contributions from Previous Agents or Participants are Not Disclosable
91-18 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 07/01/91 Majority Shareholder of a Close Corporation is Required to Sign Disclosure Statement
91-19 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 07/01/91 Successor Liability; Predecessor is Not a Participant unless Actively Supports or Opposes
91-20 Hon. Brad Sherman Lawrence Augusta 07/09/91 Preceding Twelve Months Means Preceding Twelve Calendar Months
91-21 Janice Masterton Lawrence Augusta 07/25/91 Recommendation to Board of Control Regarding Reimbursement is not an Adjudicatory Matter
91-22 Board Members E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 07/29/91 Board Non-Appearance Matters are Consent Calendar Matters Not Subject to Disclosure/Disqualification
91-23 Steven Kamp Mary Armstrong 07/29/91 Status of Intermediary Contributor; Inoperative Due to Repeal of FPPC Regulation
91-24 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 08/05/91 When Deputy Controller is Prohibited from Participation under Government Code § 7.7 and 15626 (Superseded, in part, by 93-11)
91-25 Best, Best & Krieger Mary Armstrong 08/05/91 A Duly Authorized Corporate Officer May Sign Disclosure Forms for all Three Parties
91-26 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 09/24/91 Participation by Disqualified Board Members; When the Deputy Controller May Not Participate Because of Government Code §7.9, He or She May Not be Counted for Purposes of a Quorum (superseded, in part, by 93-11)
91-27 Avram Salkin, Hochman, Salkin & DeRoy Mary Armstrong 11/19/91 A Contribution to a Candidate (or Committee) for Federal Office is not a “Contribution” for Purposes of the Kopp Act
91-28 Mary Ann Stumpf Mary Armstrong 11/19/91 A Person who has a Contractual Agreement to Receive any Refund Due a “Party” has a Financial Interest and is a “Participant” if the Person Lobbies or Testifies
92-1 Janice Masterton Larry Augusta 01/07/92 Toshiba America, Inc. Board Member May Participate if the Member Knows He or She has not Received a Disqualifying Contribution; Definition of “Close Corporation”
92-2 Steven Kamp Larry Augusta 02/28/92 Contributions by Related Corporations are not Required to be Disclosed
92-3 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 04/15/92 TriCo Bancshares Petition for Rehearing. A Request or Petition for Rehearing Which is Listed on a Non-Appearance Agenda is not Adjudicatory
92-4 John Davies Mary Armstrong 04/20/92 Request to Rescind Petition for Rehearing; Since the Request Involves a Separate Discussion, the Matter is Adjudicatory
92-5 Janice Masterton Larry Augusta 04/23/92 Disclosure Statements are not Required from Directors of Corporations Who are Not Agents or Participants
92-6 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 05/06/92 State Assessee Presentation. Capitalization Rate Hearings and Discussions with the Board of UnityValue Indicators are Not Adjudicatory
92-7 Janice Masterton Larry Augusta 05/18/92 Only Successor Must File Disclosure Statement
92-8 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 05/20/92 GTE California Incorporated (201). Petition for Reassessment of Escape Assessment. Since the Petition was Previously the Subject of Settlement Discussions, the Possibility Exists that the Matter is Adjudicatory
92-9 Janice Masterton Larry Augusta 07/03/92 Limited Partners do not Need to File Statements; Statement not Required for Board to Act Where Impossible to Obtain and Members Know They Have not Received a Contribution
92-10 Robert Brenner Mary Armstrong 07/28/92 Appeal of TriCo Bancshares – Petition for Rehearing. A Non-Appearance Agenda Item will be Considered Adjudicatory if there is a Separate Discussion and Vote; There is no Requirement that an Item be Noticed as Adjudicatory; All Agents and Participants who Discuss a Matter with Either Board Members or Board Staff are Required to Complete Disclosure forms
92-11 Earl Cantos Mary Armstrong 10/02/92 Contribution from Employee Need Not be Aggregated if Employee is Not a Party, Participant or Agent
92-12 Hon. Brad Sherman Mary Armstrong 10/21/92 Consent Calendar Inquiry from Board Member's Staff Makes Item Adjudicatory
92-13 E. L. Sorensen, Jr. Ani Kindall 04/23/93 A Board Member who Directs or Solicits a Contribution on Behalf of Another Candidate has Not Received a Contribution; Proposed Regulation 7007 is Consistent with Government Code §82015; Participation in a Fund Raiser for Another Candidate Does Not Constitute a Contribution to the Participating Board Member
92-14 Hon. Gray Davis, Hon. Brad Sherman, Hon. Thomas W. Hayes E. L. Sorensen, Jr. Glenn Rigby 12/09/92 The Provisions of Government Code §15626 Do Not Apply to Members of the Board of Equalization When They are Performing Duties as Members of the Franchise Tax Board
93-1 Janice Masterton Ani Kindall 02/08/93 Contact by Taxpayer with a Board Member on a Consent Calendar Matter will not Automatically Make All Future Board Agenda Items Affecting the Same Taxpayer and Same Issues Adjudicatory
93-2 Janice Masterton Ani Kindall 02/22/93 Settlement Agreements are not Subject to Contribution Disclosure
93-3 Coby King Ani Kindall 03/15/93 A Contribution Made to a Board Member by a Party to an Adjudicatory Proceeding Pending Before the Board is not Aggregated with a Contribution Made Solely by the Spouse of the Party's Agent
93-4 E. L. Sorensen, Jr. Ani Kindall 04/19/93 A Certified Interpreter Should Not be Provided with Contribution Disclosure Forms and a Contribution From a Certified Interpreter Does Not Trigger Disclosure and Disqualification Provisions for Board Members
93-5 E. L. Sorensen, Jr. Ani Kindall 04/20/93 A Previously Disqualified Board Member May Vote on a Matter Twelve Months After the Last Disqualifying Contribution was Received. A Contribution from a Political Action Committee is not Attributed to a Corporate Party Affiliated with the Committee. Answers are Applicable to Controller's Deputy
93-6 Hon. Brad Sherman Mary Armstrong 06/07/93 Participation is not Prohibited when an Agent is also a Member of a Contributing Political Action Committee
93-7 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 06/29/93 The Ability of the Board to Decide a Case When Contribution Disclosure Statements have not been Filed and The Use of Random Selection to Form a Quorum
93-8 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 06/30/93 Modification of Pipeline Values is Non-Adjudicatory
93-9 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 07/08/93 A Campaign Contribution Made to a Board Member's Campaign Account and the Value of a Gift that is Made Personally to a Board Member are not Aggregated for Purposes of §15626
93-10 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 07/15/93 If a Board Member Sends a Memorandum to the Staff asking for Information Regarding Items on a Consent Calendar, the Board Member has Contacted the Staff for Purposes of §15626
93-11 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 08/26/93 Presence of Disqualified Board Members May Not be Counted for Purposes of Establishing a Quorum
93-13 Janice Masterton Lawrence Augusta 11/23/93 Consideration of a Proposed Stipulation to Resolve a Pending Matter on Which There has been a Previous Adjudicatory Hearing is an Adjudicatory Matter
94-1 Hon. Brad Sherman Larry Augusta 01/04/94 A Person who Lobbies Employees of the Board, But Who Does Not Have a Financial Interest in a Pending Decision, is not a “Participant” within the Meaning of §15626(h)(3); nor do the Person's Lobbying Activities Make that Person an “agent” within the Meaning of §15626(h)(4); Consequently, Contributions Received from that Person are not Disqualifying
94-2 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 03/21/94 Contributions Received from a Witness at an Adjudicatory Proceeding Who Does Not Actively Support or Oppose the Particular Decision and has No Financial Interest in the Matter do not Require a Board Member's Disqualification under Government Code §15626
94-3 Hon. Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. Hon. Matthew Fong E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 04/04/94 Proposal to Prosecute for Failure to File Contribution Disclosure Forms
94-4 Coby King E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 04/05/94 A Member May Return a Contribution and Participate in a Matter Even Though He Previously Disqualified Himself, if the Matter was Rescheduled Without Hearing or Other Action at the Meeting at Which He Disqualified Himself; if He Wishes to Continue to Disqualify Himself, he Must Do So Again on the Record
94-5 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 04/27/94 Memorandum Opinions Presented to the Board for Action are Adjudicatory if Hearing was Adjudicatory
94-6 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 05/16/94 A Discussion Scheduled by the Board Regarding the Correct Allocation of Bradley-Burns Local Tax is Not An Adjudicatory Proceeding Pending Before the Board
94-7 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 05/23/94 Board Meeting – May 26, 1994; None of the Items Scheduled for the May 26, 1994, Board Meeting Are Adjudicatory
94-8 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 06/09/94 A Political Action Committee (PAC) is not a Party, Participant, or Agent Under Government Code §15626
94-9 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 08/10/94 The Specific Amount of a Contribution is not Required to be Disclosed Orally on the Record. Parties, Participants and/or Agents are Required to Disclose the Specific Amount(s) of Contribution Made to Board Members. Contribution Disclosure Statements will be Retained for Five Years
94-10 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 09/09/94 The Prohibitions of the Kopp Conflict of Interest Act Apply Only to Adjudicatory Matters, and an Item Does Not Become an Adjudicatory Matter Until it Has Been Scheduled and Appears as an Item on a Board Meeting Notice
94-11 Board Members E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 10/26/94 A Disqualified Board Member May Not Participate if a Quorum Can Be Convened of Qualified Board Members, even if they are not Present at the Board Meeting. Based on the Current Facts, When Deciding Petitions for Reassessment of State-Assessed Property, the Vacancy on the Board will not Affect the Board's Ability to Bring Back a Disqualified Member Pursuant to §15626(i)(5)
94-12 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 10/26/94 Government Code §15626 Does Not Apply to a Contribution Made or Received by a Political Action Committee Affiliated with a Party, Participant or Agent
94-13 Board Members E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 12/06/94 A Board Member May Lawfully Participate in an Adjudicatory Proceeding if an Otherwise Disqualifying Contribution is Returned Within 30 days from the Time He or She Knows About the Contribution and the Placement of the Adjudicatory Proceeding on an Nonappearance Calendar
94-14 Board Members E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 12/07/94 A Matter Does Not Become Adjudicatory Simply Because it was Erroneously Placed on an Adjudicatory Calendar
94-15 Board Members E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 12/28/94 Discussion in Closed Session Regarding Possible Settlement of a Litigation Matter is Not An Adjudicatory Proceeding Pending Before the Board, and Any Contact by a Member does not Render the Discussion Adjudicatory
95-1 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 01/10/95 A Contribution Made by an Agent's Spouse Need Not Be Aggregated With the Agent's Contribution or Reported by the Agent
95-2 Steven Kamp E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 03/02/95 Contributions to the Campaign of a Board Member's Staff Employee Are Not Subject to the Kopp Act
95-4 Hon. Brad Sherman E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 03/21/95 A Board Member Knows or Has Reason to Know a Contribution has been Received from a Party, Participant or Agent When He or She has been Notified of the Contribution and the Member has been Notified that an Adjudicatory Proceeding is Pending Before the Board
95-6 Janice Masterton E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 06/05/95 A Request by a Board Member to Change the Date for Action on an Item on the Non-Adjudicatory Consent Calendar Constitutes Contacting Board Staff and the Item Becomes Adjudicatory
95-8 Steven Kamp E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 06/06/95 Contact by One Board Member Causes Consent Matter to Become Adjudicatory With Respect to All Board Members
95-9 Janice Masterton Ani Kindall 08/17/95 A Limited Partnership Filing an Appeal Completes a “Party” Contribution Disclosure Statement. The General Partner Acting on Behalf of the Partnership Files an “Agent” Contribution Disclosure Statement. Other General Partners file “Participant” Contribution Disclosure Statements, but Disclose Contributions Only if They Have Actively Supported or Opposed the Matter Before the Board. The Limited Partners are not Required to File Contribution Disclosure Statements
95-10 Board Members E. L. Sorensen, Jr. 11/20/95 Attorney General Opinion 95-324 Regarding Subdivisions (c) and (d) of 2 Cal. Code of Regulations 7008, Legally Required Participation
96-1 Hon. Dean F. Andal Mary Armstrong 06/07/96 A Campaign Contribution Made to a Board Member's Campaign Bank Account and the Value of a Gift that is Made Personally to the Board Member are not Aggregated for Purposes of §15626. Moreover, the Political Reform Act will not Prohibit the Gift so Long as the Board Member Does Not Receive $280 or More from the Company in the Calendar Year. The Gift will need to be Disclosed on the Board Member's Annual Statement of Economic Interests
96-2 Michele Stuart Mary Armstrong 08/15/96 Members of the Board Are Not Prohibited from Taking Action in a Matter if a Party has Failed to File a Contribution Disclosure Form. Although Foreign Nationals are Prohibited from Making Contributions, if No Contribution Disclosure Forms Have Been Filed Prior to the Proceeding, Members Should Review their Own Contribution Disclosure Records to Make Sure That They Have not Received a Contribution from the Party or Participant in the Twelve Months Prior to the Proceeding Since the Statute Places the Prohibition on the Board Members. Contributions from a Subsidiary of a Party are not Disclosable and Not Disqualifying Under §15626
96-3 Janice Masterton Mary Armstrong 11/12/96 A County May Be a “Participant” for Purposes of Contribution Disclosure
97-1 Janice Masterton Timothy W. Boyer 01/06/97 If Contributions are Accepted by an Acting Board Member, the Disclosure and Disqualification Provisions of the Kopp Act Are Applicable to the Acting Board Member. Contributions Received by the Resigned Board Member Should not Be Disclosed and Will Not Result in Disqualification of an Acting Board Member
97-2 Jim Tucker Timothy W. Boyer 01/13/97 Payments Received By Elected Officeholders For Officeholder Purposes Pursuant To New Government Code §85313 Are Considered “Contributions” Pursuant To The Definition Of “Contribution” In The Political Reform Act. Since The Prohibition In Government Code §15626 Is Based On The Political Reform Act Definition Of “Contribution,” Such Payments Are Also Considered “Contributions” For Purposes Of §15626
97-3 Janice Masterton Timothy W. Boyer 01/31/97 The Basic Difference Between A Consent Calendar And An Item On A “Not Subject To Statute” Calendar Is That A Consent Calendar Item Would Be Subject To The Kopp Act Requirements If It Were Removed From The Consent Calendar, While A “Not Subject To Statute” Calendar Item Is Never Subject To The Requirements Of The Kopp Act. A Consent Calendar May Consist Of Just One Item
98-1 Janice Masterton Timothy W. Boyer 1/16/98 The Name Of Any Disqualified Board Member, Whether Present Or Not, Must Be Included In The Selection By Lot. In A Matter Requiring Participation By The Controller Rather Than Her Deputy, If The Controller Is Not Present And Her Name Is Drawn, The Hearing Cannot Be Held Due To Lack Of A Quorum
99-1 Marcy Jo Mandel Timothy W. Boyer 1/25/99 Only The Persons Who Have Contacted The Board Members Or Employees Can Determine, Based On The Reasonably Foreseeable Material Financial Effect That The Huffy Decision Will Have On Them, Or The Companies They Represent, Whether Or Not They Are Participants Or Agents
99-2 Janice Masterton Timothy W. Boyer 3/24/99 Legally Required Participation-Random Selection Procedure
99-3 Board Members Timothy W. Boyer 4/06/99 Providing Contribution Disclosure Forms To Potential Participants
99-4 Hon. Dean Andal Timothy W. Boyer 4/28/99 When Several Members Of A Law Or Accounting Firm That Represents A Party Or Participant Make Contributions To a PAC And Then The PAC Makes A Contribution To A Board Member, No Disclosable Or Disqualifying Contribution Has Been Made For Purposes Of Government Code § 15626
00-1 Janice Masterton Timothy W. Boyer 3/23/00 Campaign Contributions Made to Board Members for State or Local Elections are Subject to the Disclosure and Disqualification Provisions of the Kopp Act and Campaign Statements Filed for Any State or Local Office Must be Provided to Board Staff
00-2 Steven Kamp Timothy W. Boyer 6/05/00 Campaign Contributions From Business Entities That Are Parents, Subsidiaries Or Otherwise Related Entities Are Not Disclosable And Not Disqualifying Unless These Entities Are Participants Or Agents
00-3 Steven Kamp Timothy W. Boyer 8/22/00 A Discussion With A Person Who Cannot Impact The Outcome Of A Decision Does Not Constitute Participation. A Board Member May Participate In A Decision After The Aggregate Amount Of Two Contributions Falls Below $250 Due To The End Of The Twelve-Month Period For One Of The Contributions. The Period Ends 12 Months After The Contribution Is Received Rather Than 12 Months After The Contribution Is Made
02-1 Deborah Pellegrini Ani Kindall 11/22/02 Reallocation Hearings Are Not Subject to the Disclosure and Disqualification Requirements of the Kopp Act
02-2 Dan Tokutomi Ani Kindall 11/27/02 Offers in Compromise Brought before the Board for Approval Are Not Subject to the Disclosure and Disqualification Requirements of the Kopp Act
07-1 Board Members Kristine Cazadd 03/15/07 The mere filing of an amicus brief does not make the person who filed the brief a “participant” for purposes of the Kopp Act. However, that person may still qualify as a “participant” if other conditions are met.