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Campaign finance refers to the means by which money is raised for election campaigns. Campaign finance system generally refers to prevailing fundraising practices as well as the laws governing those practices.

In New York State, nearly all candidates for elected state and local offices are required to disclose their campaign finance information electronically to the State Board of Elections. NYOpenGovernment only includes campaign finance information from candidates and political parties for state-level offices. To obtain information about local candidates and parties, visit the New York State Board of Elections at www.elections.ny.gov (This link will open in a new browser window).

New York State's Campaign Finance System: A Fact Sheet

Public disclosure

In New York State, candidates are required to publicly disclose from whom they raise campaign contributions and how they spent it. Contribution disclosure reports include the name and address of the contributor, the amount and date of the contribution, and the filing year. The disclosure reports must also identify the recipient, office, district (if applicable), and "schedule" (type of contribution -- for example, if the contribution came from a corporation or an individual).

Typically, small donations of $99 or less to a campaign are not reported, such contributions may be reported by the candidate or committee in a generic "unitemized" category.

Campaign contribution limits

Campaign contributions are subject to limits that vary according to the office sought by the candidate and the status of the contributor.

In addition to the limits placed on contributions made to a certain candidate during a campaign cycle, contributors may be subject to aggregate annual limits. Individuals may not contribute more than $150,000 per year, and corporations may not contribute more than $5,000 per year, for all races both state and local combined. These aggregate limits apply to all contributions made to candidates at all levels of government within New York State. Other types of contributors are not subject to aggregate contribution limits.

In addition, there are contribution limits on donations to political parties. Party or constituted committees cannot accept more than $102,300 from one contributor in a calendar year and up to $5,000 from a corporation. These committees can accept donations of any size to so-called "housekeeping accounts," but these donations cannot be used to directly help candidates get elected to office.

For more information regarding New York State contribution limits visit http://www.elections.ny.gov/CFContributionLimits.html (This link will open in a new browser window).

For more information regarding the New York City contribution list, visit http://www.nyccfb.info (This link will open in a new browser window).

Campaign Finance Codes

Schedule A is used to report all monetary contributions from individuals and partnerships. Funds received from candidates and their spouses are also reported on this schedule.

Schedule B is used to report all monetary contributions from corporations.

Schedule C is used to report all monetary contributions from other entities such as political committees, unions, trade associations, etc.

Schedule D is used to report all In-Kind Contributions which are classified as (1) services or facilities provided for the campaign filer's use, (2) property/equipment given to the filer's campaign and (3) expenses which the filer incurred that were paid by someone else.

Schedule E is used to report miscellaneous receipts such as interest received on a bank account or loan, dividends from investments, or proceeds from the sale or lease of campaign property or equipment.

Schedule F is used to report all campaign expenses and political contributions to other candidates and political committees that are not transfers. Only expenditures that exceed $49.99 must be itemized.

Schedule G is used to report "transfers" in. Transfer means the exchange of funds or anything of value between (i) a party or constituted committee and a candidate or any of his/her authorized committees, or (ii) two committees solely supporting the same candidate (including tickets to fundraisers).

Schedule H is used to report transfers out. Transfer means the exchange of funds or anything of value between (i) a party or constituted committee and a candidate or any of his/her authorized committees or (ii) two committees solely supporting the same candidate (including tickets to fundraisers).

Schedule I is used to report loans received during the reporting period. The evidence of indebtedness must include the name of the lender, their address, the amount of loan, any interest to be charged and the repayment schedule. If the loan was received from a lending institution, the evidence of indebtedness must include the name and address of any cosignor, obligor or any other person providing security for or otherwise guaranteeing the loan.

Schedule J is used to record the repayment of loans received. Only repayments of principal are reported here. Interest payments are reported on Schedule F.

Schedule K is used to report that a creditor or a lender has forgiven an outstanding debt.

Schedule L is used to report refunds of campaign expenses such as errors (overpayments), adjustments, return of deposits, etc.

Schedule M is used to report the return of contributions received to the person who made the contribution. There cannot be a refund more than the amount contributed.

Schedule N is used to report outstanding liabilities for goods or services received, and outstanding loans received. Each report should include liabilities/loans that have not been paid or forgiven as of the cutoff date for the report.

Schedule O is used to furnish additional information about partnership contributions or subcontractor payments.

Schedule P is used by Party and Constituted Committees to report receipts associated with maintaining a permanent Party Headquarters and staff and carrying on ordinary activities which are not for the express purpose of promoting the candidacy of specific candidates. See Election Law Section 14-124(3).

Schedule Q is used by Party and Constituted Committees to report expenses associated with S maintaining a permanent Party Headquarters and staff and carrying on ordinary activities which are not for the express purpose of promoting the candidacy of specific candidates. See Election Law Section 14-124(3).

Schedule R is used by Party committees, constituted committees and authorized multi-candidate committees to allocate campaign expenses among the candidates they support according to the relative benefit each candidate received from the expenditures. (These amounts are cumulative per candidate for the campaign cycle.)

Definitions of committees

Candidate means any individual who seeks to be nominated or elected to public office or party position. An individual shall be deemed to be a candidate if (1) action was taken to qualify for nomination or election or (2) monies were raised or expended by the individual or any agent in order to bring about such nomination or election to such office or position, whether the candidate is/was on the ballot or not.

Political Committee means any combination of one or more persons that raises and spends money to advocate the success or defeat of any ballot proposal or any candidate for election or nomination to public office or party position. Authorized and Unauthorized single or Multicandidate committees, PACs, Constituted Committees, Duly constituted sub-committees of county committees, and Party Committees, as defined below, are all political committees.

Authorized single or Multi-candidate committees are committees that are specifically authorized by one candidate or a group of candidates to raise and spend money on their behalf for their election. Authorization occurs when the candidate(s) has affirmatively acknowledged that the committee will act on his or her behalf.

Unauthorized single or Multi-candidate committees are committees that are not specifically authorized by one candidate or a group of candidates to raise and spend money on their behalf for their election.

Political Action Committee (PAC) although not defined in the New York State Election Law, a PAC is considered to be any political committee that supports candidates or other political committees by making contributions only; i.e., PAC's do not make direct expenditures on behalf of Candidates.

Constituted Committee is a state party committee or a county party committee wherein the committee members are elected to their position.


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