Contribution Limits

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 $2,500. 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:

  • 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.

Visit the NYS Board of Elections for more details!