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Contribution Limits

Money

Giving and Receiving Limits

The NYS Election Law establishes certain limits on contributions that can be given and received by candidates and political committees, as well as limits on contributions that can be given by individuals and other entities. Contribution limits were established to, among other things, curtail the amount of influence, through money, that a contributor can have on elections and the election process.

What is a Contributor?

A contributor may be an individual, a corporation, another candidate's political committee, an unincorporated union or trade organization, a PAC or any other entity such as a League or association, etc.

A limited liability company is treated as an individual. Sole proprietors' contributions are from the owner and must be listed as such. Partnership contributions are contributions from the partners individually, but they are not listed individually until the partnership contribution exceeds $2500. Then complete Schedule O. With no other information available, checks drawn on a joint account are assumed given by the signatory.

The funds of a candidate and the spouse of the candidate spent on the campaign are not contributions and are not limited. They must be reported, however.

The New York State Election Law places aggregate calendar year limits on the amount of political contributions that can be made by individuals and corporations to New York State candidates and committees, as follows:

  • An individual may contribute up to a total of $150,000.00 in a calendar year.
  • A corporation may contribute up to a total of $5,000.00 in a calendar year.
  • Each affiliated or subsidiary corporation, if a separate legal entity, has its own limit.

No other type of contributor has an aggregate calendar year limit on its contributions.

Notwithstanding the above, no individual, corporation, or other contributor may give more to a candidate or a candidate's authorized political committee(s) than an amount determined under the law for the office sought by the candidate. This is called the election limit. This amount is the maximum that the candidate may receive from any one contributor during the campaign cycle for the particular election.

For some offices, the law requires a formula be used to determine the limit. In those cases, you should contact the board of elections where the candidate files their reports to find out the limits.

Each Primary, General or Special election campaign has its own limit. Therefore, contributors may give up to the limit for each election in which the candidate participates. Candidates and committee treasurers must ensure that the election limits are not exceeded and that those funds are spent only for the election to which they pertain unless they were surplus funds left over from a prior election.

The election limit for family members is an aggregate limit from all the candidate's family (defined as a child, parent, grandparent, brother and sister and the spouse's of those persons).

Candidate Contribution Receipt Limits

The charts in this section set forth the maximum election limits, calculated using the total number of enrolled or registered voters, excluding voters in inactive status, that may be received by a candidate for a particular office. (EL 14-114: NYCRR 6214.0.) Column A represents the amount that can be received from any non-family contributor and Column B represents the amount that can be received in the aggregate from the family (defined as the candidate’s child, parent, grandparent, brother, sister and the spouses of any such persons). These limits are subject to change and should be verified with NYSBOE and/or applicable board.

    Column A Column B
Office Election Non-Family Limit Family Limit
Statewide Primary Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the state, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.005.* Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the state, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.025.
General $41,100** Total number of registered voters in the state, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.025.
New York State Senate Primary $6,500 Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $20,000, and no more than $100,000.
General $10,300 Total number of registered voters in the candidate's district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $20,000, and no more than $100,000.
New York State Assembly Primary $4,100 Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $12,500, and no more than $100,000.
General $4,100 Total number of registered voters in the candidate's district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $12,500, and no more than $100,000.
New York City Offices of Mayor, Public Advocate, and Comptroller Primary Total number of enrolled voters in candidate's party in the city, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.05* Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the city, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $1,250, and no more than $100,000.
General $41,100 Total number of registered voters in the city, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $1,250, and no more than $100,000.

* The formula amount up to $19,700, but at least $6,500.
**Candidates running jointly for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor in a general or special election shall be deemed to be one candidate" for limit purposes. NYS Election Law §14-114 (7).

NOTE: Candidates opting into the New York City Public Financing program should check with that New York City Campaign Finance Board for further limitations.

    Column A Column B
Office Election Non-Family Limit Family Limit
All Other Public Offices*** and Supreme Court Justice Primary Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.05, but at least $1,000, and no more than $50,000. Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $1,250, and no more than $100,000.
General Total number of registered voters in the candidate's district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.05, but at least $1,000, and no more than $50,000. Total number of registered voters in the candidate's district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $1,250, and no more than $100,000.

***Contact local board(s) of elections for contribution limits (based on number of enrolled/registered voters) for local candidates. The general election limit applies to special elections as well.

Please remember that these limits are for the entire election cycle. Generally, the Election Cycle is either two or four years. Where the limit exceeds $5,000, a corporation is still restricted to its limit of $5,000 in a calendar year. But, it may give during each year of the election up to the lesser of its or the candidate's limit.

The person making a contribution, as well as the person receiving it, are responsible to ensure that the limits are not exceeded.

  • The contribution limit for family members is an aggregate limit from all the candidate's family members (defined as a child, parent, grandparent, brother and sister and the spouse's of those persons.)
  • Ballot Issues - There are no limits on contributions for ballot issues.
  • Party or constituted committees - these committees may receive no more than $102,300 from any individual contributor in a calendar year and up to $5,000 from a corporation.
  • Housekeeping - there are no limits on contributions to a Party or Constituted committee for Housekeeping expenses.

Unless otherwise designated in writing, a contribution is deemed attributable to the very next election in which the candidate participates. Contributions allocated to prior campaigns (to pay outstanding debts) must remain within the limits applicable to that election.

Contribution Limits