Table of Contents
- The Statement of Organization, Forming and Registering a Ballot Question Committee
- Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements
- Contributions And Other Receipts
- Recording and Reporting Contributions and Other Receipts
- Acceptable Contributions and Exemptions
- Prohibited Contributions
Anonymous ContributionsCash ContributionsCandidate Committee to Candidate CommitteeEarmarkingForeign NationalsContribution in the Name of AnotherCorporations, Joint Stock Companies, Labor Organizations, Domestic Dependent Sovereigns (Indian Tribes)Persons Holding a Casino Interest
- Returning Contributions
- Fund Raisers - See Appendix F
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Committees receive monies, goods and services from a variety of sources. Any items of value received by the committee are called receipts. The receipts are separated into two types by the MCFA; “contributions” and “other receipts”.
• “Contributions” are the monies, goods and services donated or loaned to the committee. Contributions of monies donated to the committee are called “direct” contributions. Contributions of goods and services donated to the committee are called “in-kind” contributions.
• “Other Receipts” are the monies received by the committee that are not contributions. Common examples include interest, refunds, rebates received by the committee and un-cashed or returned checks. A loan from a financial institution is also an “other receipt”.
TYPES OF CONTRIBUTIONS
Contribution of Money: A Committee may accept direct contributions of money from legal sources. Direct contributions of $20.01 or more must be on written instruments such as a check, money order or credit card. Direct contributions of $20.00 or less may be received in cash.
In-kind Contribution: In-kind contributions are goods, services and facilities donated or loaned to the committee at no cost or at a discount. An in-kind contribution could be a donation of postage stamps, paying off a debt incurred by the committee or donating professional services to the committee. The value of an in-kind contribution is the fair market value of the goods or services or the usual rental charge of the facility. If the committee receives a discount unavailable to the general public, the value of the in-kind contribution is the amount discounted.
Loan as a Contribution: A committee may accept loans from legal sources. A loan is considered a contribution for the same amount as the loan. Therefore, a loan of $100.00 is a contribution of $100.00. A loan can be a loan of money or an in-kind contribution. A Loan Endorsement is an in-kind contribution to the committee in the amount of the endorsement.
RECORDING AND REPORTING RECEIPTS
The committee treasurer or designated record keeper must:
- Record and report all contributions from individuals, regardless of amount, by the amount, date received, and the donor’s name and address. If single or cumulative contributions received from the same individual during a calendar year total $100.01 or more, the donor’s occupation, employer and principal place of business must also be recorded.
- Record and report all contributions received from other committees, regardless of amount, by the amount, date received, and the committee’s name and address.
- Record and report all contributions received from groups, businesses, firms or any other types of organizations that are not registered as a committee under the MCFA by amount, date received and the contributing organization’s name and address. If an individual gave toward the organization’s contribution, the amount the individual gave, the date the organization received the individual’s contribution, and the individual’s name and address must be recorded and reported as a “memo-itemization”. If an individual gave $100.01 or more toward the organization’s contribution, the individual’s occupation, employer and principal place of business (address) must also be recorded.
- Record and report all “other receipts” by the amount, date received, the name and address of the source and a short description.
The date of receipt is not the date the check or other written instrument was written or the date the contribution was deposited into the committee’s account. The committee receives a contribution on the date that the monetary funds, written instrument, or in-kind contribution of goods from the contributor come into the physical possession of the committee treasurer, designated record keeper or other person acting as an agent of the committee.
An in-kind contribution of services is considered to be received by the committee on the date the committee treasurer, designated record keeper or other person acting as an agent of the committee receives verbal or written notice from the contributor that the contribution has been made.
Refer to the Ballot Question Committee Campaign Statement Instructions and Forms booklet for specific information on how receipts are reported.
The Committee Treasurer or agent must promptly deposit all funds received by the committee in the committee’s depository. The committee receives a contribution as soon as the committee treasurer or an agent designated by the treasurer receives it.
Contributions of $20.01 or more must be made by a written instrument such as a check or money order that must show the name of the person making the contribution and the name of the committee accepting the contribution. A committee may not accept contributions of $20.01 or more in cash. The committee must record the same type of detailed information for a credit card or electronically transferred contribution as for any other type of contribution.
Ballot Question Committees may receive unlimited contribution amounts from any legal source. See Appendix O for a list of prohibited sources.
Loan as a Contribution: A Committee may accept loans from individuals, Independent Committees, Political Committees, Political Party Committees, Super PACs and financial institutions. Loans are recorded as contributions with the exception of loans made to the committee by financial institutions.
In-Kind Contributions: In-kind contributions are goods, services and facilities provided to the committee at no cost or at a discount. An in-kind contribution could be a donation of office supplies to the committee, a person paying off a debt incurred by the committee or someone paying the salaries of persons who are working on the ballot question campaign.
The value of an in-kind contribution is the fair market value of the goods or services or the usual rental charge of a facility for office space or a fund raiser. If the committee receives a discount unavailable to the general public, the value of the in-kind contribution is the amount discounted.
Contribution from an Out-of-State Group: See Appendix K
Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Professional Limited Liability Company Contributions: Contributions can be received from partnerships, LLCs and PLLCs, but special conditions exist for reporting the contributions. For more information see Appendix O2
An individual can assist a committee in a number of ways without the assistance counting as a contribution to the committee. For more information see Appendix O1
Prohibited Contributions: See Appendix O
Funds received by a committee which are returned to the contributor within 30 business days after receipt are not viewed as a “contribution” under the MCFA.
- Funds, which have not been deposited in the committee’s account and are returned to the contributor, are not reported on the next Campaign Statement required of the committee.
- Funds deposited in a committee’s account that are subsequently returned to the contributor must be reported as a contribution on the Itemized Contribution Schedule, of the Campaign Statement covering the period during which the contribution was received and returned. The expenditure to return the contribution is reported on the Itemized Expenditures Schedule.
Fund Raisers: See Appendix F