Ethics & Campaign Finance

The Office of Ethics & Campaign Finance is charged with providing guidance and counsel to all City of Columbus elected officials, municipal candidates, candidate committees and all City of Columbus employees on matters relating to ethics, standards of conduct, conflicts of interest and campaign finance. 

Ethics

Columbus City Code Section 2321.56 requires every office holder, candidate and person appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term of elective office to file financial disclosure statements with the City in addition to filings required by the Ohio Ethics Commission.

In addition, pursuant to Executive Order 2016-01, the Mayor may require other public officials or employees whose positions include a substantial and material exercise of administrative discretion in the formulation of public policy, expenditure of public funds, enforcement of laws and rules of the state or city, or the execution of other public trusts to file financial disclosure statements. 

FORMS:
The City of Columbus requires the same form issued by the Ohio Ethics Commission.

The City of Columbus filing is to be accompanied by a one-page addendum for description(s) of any gifts over $75.00, ONLY if the gift was received from one of the following sources:

  1. Any person with whom the office holder, candidate, or designated employee, or office holder’s, candidate’s, or designated employee’s immediate family*, does business; 
  2.  Any person who is a creditor of over one thousand dollars ($1,000) of, or a debtor of over one thousand dollars ($1,000) to, the office holder, candidate, or designated employee;
  3.  Any person with whom the office holder, candidate, or designated employee has an investment, other than a primary residence or real property held primarily for personal recreation, of over one thousand dollars ($1,000);
  4.  Any person that has another fiduciary relationship, such as co-owner or proprietorship of a corporation, trust, business trust, partnership, or association, with an office holder, candidate, or designated employee.

*A “family member” includes the following relatives, regardless of where they reside: spouse; children (whether dependent or not); siblings; parents; grandparents; and grandchildren. It also includes any other person related by blood or marriage and living in the same household.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING:
The financial disclosure statement and related addendum (if applicable) should be emailed to EthicsFilings@columbus.gov

INFORMATION FILES:

2024 Ethics Financial Disclosure Calendar(PDF, 106KB)
City of Columbus Ordinance 0086-2016(PDF, 157KB)
Ohio Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure Form(PDF, 704KB)
Ohio Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure Fact Sheet(PDF, 114KB)
City of Columbus Financial Disclosure Addendum(PDF, 284KB)
City of Columbus Financial Disclosure FAQs(PDF, 120KB)

 

Campaign Finance

The City of Columbus's Campaign Finance Laws were implemented to promote transparency and accountability in municipal political campaigns. The Columbus Campaign Finance Database offers campaign committees an online interface to register, designate a campaign committee treasurer, and to input or upload data related to campaign contributions, expenditures, and other transactions. This system is searchable, offering residents an opportunity to learn more about campaigns and the campaign finance process.

View the City of Columbus Campaign Finance Database

FILING CALENDAR
2024 City of Columbus Campaign Finance Calendar - All Filers(PDF, 84KB)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE MATERIALS
FAQs(PDF, 153KB)
Reports Filing Reference Guide(PDF, 168KB)
Template Instructions(PDF, 1MB)
Application Guidelines(PDF, 4MB)
Ohio Campaign Contribution Limits(PDF, 92KB)
Columbus Campaign Contribution Limits(PDF, 191KB)

FORM TEMPLATES
Form 31-A (Contributions) Template(XLSX, 12KB)
Form 31-B (Expenditures) Template(XLSX, 11KB)

COLUMBUS CITY CODE
Chapter 107: Elections