Campaign Contribution Refund Program (CCRP)
In 2014, a group of citizens obtained enough signatures to place on the ballot the question of whether City of Tallahassee citizens wanted to establish a campaign contribution refund program (CCRP) for mayoral and commission races, in conjunction with establishment of an Independent Ethics Board. In November 2014 City voters passed a City Charter amendment that established the Independent Ethics Board and the refund program for voters in City election. The CCRP is administered by the Independent Ethics Board and the refunds are paid through the City of Tallahassee’s general revenue fund. The maximum amount any individual can obtain through the CCRP is $25. Additionally, no individual may contribute more than $250 to a filed candidate for municipal office and contributions to write-in candidates are not eligible for a refund.
To get a refund, someone must:
- Be a registered elector of the City of Tallahassee at the time the contribution was made;
- Contribute to a filed candidate for City office in the calendar year the election occurs; and
- Complete a Refund Claim Form (PDF) and provide official receipts provided by the candidate’s principal campaign committee by January 15, 2017.
The objective of the program is to enhance small-donor participation in the local election process. This program is the first of its kind in the nation.
Campaign Contribution Refund Process (PDF)
Refund Claim Form (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why does the City of Tallahassee have a Campaign Contribution Refund Program (CCRP)? In 2014, a group of citizens obtained enough signatures to place on the ballot the question of whether the city residents wanted to establish a campaign contribution refund program for mayoral and commission races, in conjunction with establishment of an Independent Ethics Board. In November 2014 City voters passed a Charter Amendment that established the Independent Ethics Board and the refund program for voters in City election.
What seats are open on the City Commission in 2016? Commission seats #1 and #2. There is not a Mayoral race in 2016.
Who may obtain a refund? A registered voter in the City of Tallahassee can receive up to $25 back if he or she makes a financial contribution to a city commission candidate. The contributor must make the contribution in the calendar year in which the election occurs. The contributor must complete a Refund Claim Form (PDF) and file it along with a receipt from the candidate’s campaign treasurer.
Who pays for the refund to eligible citizens? The payments come from the City’s general revenue funds.
Who is in charge of running the program? The Independent Ethics Board is in charge of setting up the process for documenting, verifying and approving Refund Claim Forms. Once the Independent Ethics Office verifies that the donor lives in the City of Tallahassee, is a registered City elector and donated to a City Commission candidate in 2016, City of Tallahassee staff will process the refund.
I am running for a Commission seat. What am I required to do? Please submit samples of receipt forms you are using to Independent Ethics Officer Julie Meadows-Keefe by March 31, 2016 so that those can be used to verify contributions. You must also provide every contributor with a receipt upon request. This receipt can be either paper or electronic.
I donated to a candidate but gave more than $25. May I get back the entire amount? No. The maximum amount for refunds is $25.
I donated to a candidate in 2015. May I get a refund of that contribution? No. Refunds are limited to contributions made in the calendar year the election occurs.
I donated to several candidates in 2016. May I get a refund for all of those contributions? You may submit a Refund Claim Form (PDF) and include receipts for all of your donations in 2016. However, the maximum amount that will be refunded to any donor is $25. So, if you donated $10 to Candidate Smith and $15 to Candidate Jones, you would be refunded the total amount of your contributions to both candidates, since the total is $25. However, if you donated $100 to Candidate Smith and $50 to Candidate Jones, you could only receive a maximum of a $25 refund. You are limited to one $25 refund per election cycle.
I live outside of the City limits but donated to a City Commission candidate. May I receive a refund? No. Refunds are limited to individuals who are registered to vote and live in the City of Tallahassee.
I donated to a City Commission candidate but am not registered to vote in the City of Tallahassee. May I get a refund? No. You must be registered to vote in the City of Tallahassee to receive a refund.
I am a registered voter in the City of Tallahassee and donated to a City Commission candidate. How do I get my refund? Complete the Refund Claim Form (PDF). Include receipts verifying your contribution and send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send via US Mail or deliver in person to Independent Ethics Board, 300 South Adams Street, A-25, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Your refund claim form and receipts must be received no later than January 15, 2017.
When can I expect to receive my refund? All refunds shall be paid no later than April 17, 2017.
The candidate I donated to didn’t end up qualifying to appear on the ballot. May I still get a refund for that donation? Yes. As long as the candidate appoints a campaign treasurer, designates a primary depository and makes monthly contribution reports, you may receive a refund for donations made to that individual.