Expenditures

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Table of Contents

Part 1 of 2:

Ballot Question Manual:
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Part 2 of 2:

Appendices:
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BALLOT QUESTION COMMITTEE - RECORDING AND REPORTING EXPENDITURES

“Expenditures” are anything of monetary value spent by the committee to influence the qualification, passage or defeat of a ballot question. When a committee makes an expenditure to, or on behalf of another committee, it is an “expenditure” by the spending committee and a “contribution” to the recipient committee.

The committee treasurer or designated record-keeper must:

  • Record and report all expenditures over $50.00 from the committee account by the amount, purpose, date made, and the recipient’s name and address.
  • Record and report all expenditures (regardless of amount) made to or on behalf of another Ballot Question Committee by the amount, date made, and the recipient committee’s name and address, including the name and address of the vendor or person paid. Record the proposal letter or a brief description of the ballot question supported by the recipient committee and the county, city, township or village where it appears on the ballot.
  • Record and report all expenditures made to support or oppose a ballot question by the amount, date made and a description of the question. Indicate whether the question is a statewide, multi-county or single-county issue and whether the committee is supporting or opposing the issue. For multi-county issues, indicate the name of the county with the greatest number of voters eligible to vote on the issue.

Refer to the Ballot Question Committee Campaign Statement Instructions and Forms booklet for specific information on how expenditures are reported.

Treasurer’s Responsibility: See Appendix A

When a Written Instrument Is Required

An expenditure of $50.01 or more must be made by a written instrument such as a check or money order. The written instrument must show the committee’s name, date, amount, and the name of the recipient. A committee may not make expenditures of $50.01 or more in cash.

ACCEPTABLE EXPENDITURES AND EXEMPTIONS

Petty Cash Fund

  • The committee treasurer may establish a petty cash fund with funds withdrawn from the committee’s official depository.
  • The committee must record the name, date and amount of each expenditure made from the petty cash fund.
  • Single cash expenditures of $50.00 or less may be made from the petty cash fund.

In-Kind Expenditures

In-kind expenditures are goods, services and facilities provided to another committee at no cost or at a discount.

The value of an in-kind expenditure is the fair market value or usual rental charge of the good, service or facility. If the committee provides a good, service or facility to another committee at a discount, the value of the in-kind expenditure is the amount discounted.

A Ballot Question Committee may not make an in-kind expenditure to a Candidate Committee or to any type of committee that supports or opposes candidates.

Independent Expenditures

Independent expenditures are expenditures made to support or oppose a ballot question without the direction or control of another person or committee, including supporting or opposing the primary Ballot Question Committee that is supporting or opposing the ballot question. Independent expenditures are never made under the control of or at the direction of another person or committee and are not contributions to any committee. Independent expenditures can be made in any amount.

Loans By Ballot Question Committees

A Ballot Question may make a loan, or guarantee or endorse a loan, only to another Ballot Question Committee or a Super PAC.

DELIVERY OF A CONTRIBUTION TO ANOTHER COMMITTEE BY A THIRD PARTY

An individual who obtains possession of a contribution that a committee registered under the MCFA wishes to give to another committee registered under the MCFA has 10 business days to take one of the following actions:

  1. Deliver the contribution to the appropriate committee treasurer;
  2. Deliver the contribution to any agent of the appropriate committee; or
  3. Return the contribution to the payor.

The 10-day time limit for these actions does not apply if the individual in possession of the contribution is the treasurer of the contributing committee or the contributing committee’s designated record keeper.

Use of Independent Contractors: See Appendix L

Expenditure Exemptions

The MCFA exempts the following activities from the expenditure definition:

  • A group or committee may communicate with its paid members or shareholders without having to report the expenses involved as expenditures. The communication can support or oppose ballot questions.
  • A group or committee may communicate with anyone on a subject or an issue without having to report the expenses involved as expenditures if the communication does not support or oppose a ballot question by name or clear inference.

PROHIBITED EXPENDITURES

  • A committee may not make a single expenditure from petty cash that exceeds $50.00.
  • A committee may not make a cash expenditure that exceeds $50.00.
  • A Ballot Question Committee may not make expenditures to, in support of, or in opposition to, a Candidate Committee, Political Party Committee, Political Committee (PAC), Independent Committee (PAC) or any committee that supports or opposes candidates.

Dissolution of Committee: See Appendix W




Page last modified on May 03, 2017, at 12:29 PM