Table of Contents
- The Statement of Organization, Forming and Registering a Political Party Committee
- Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements
- Contributions And Other Receipts
- Recording and Reporting Contributions and Other Receipts
- Acceptable Contributions and Exemptions
- Prohibited Contributions - See Appendix O
Anonymous ContributionsCash ContributionsEarmarkingForeign 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
Expenditure Exemptions Prohibited Expenditures Dissolution of Committee
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.
Both “contributions and other receipts” referred to in this Manual are those that are placed into the political account the committee uses to make expenditures in support of or in opposition to candidates, issues and other committees in Michigan state and local elections.
RECORDING AND REPORTING RECEIPTS
The committee treasurer or designated record keeper must:
- Record and report all contributions from individuals by the amount, date received and the donor’s name. If single or cumulative contributions received from the same individual during a calendar year total $100.01 or more, the committee must also record and report the donor’s occupation, employer and principal place of business.
- Record and report all contributions received from other committees by the amount, date received, the committee 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 of receipt and the contributing organization’s name and address. If an individual gave money toward the organization’s contribution, the committee must record and report the amount the individual gave, the date the organization received the individual’s contribution, and the individual’s name and address as a “memo itemization.” If an individual gave $100.01 or more toward the organization’s contribution, the committee must also record and report the individual’s occupation, employer and principal place of business address.
- Record and report all “other receipts” by the amount, date received, and the name and address of the source. Include a brief description of the “other receipt.”
The receipt date is not the date the check or other written instrument was written or the date the contribution was deposited into the committee’s bank account. A contribution is received by a committee on the date that the monetary funds, written instrument, or in-kind contribution of goods from the contributor have come into the physical possession of the committee treasurer, designated record keeper or other person acting as an agent of the committee.
For purposes of reporting the receipt of an in-kind contribution of services, the in-kind contribution 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, in fact, been made.
Contributions include donations or loans (except loans from financial institutions in their regular course of business) of money; membership dues; money received from sales of merchandise such as campaign buttons, bumper stickers, tee-shirts, caps, etc.; sale of tickets for various functions and events.
If the money, regardless of its source, is placed into the committee’s political account that is used for state or local candidate, ballot question or other committee support or opposition in Michigan, the detail information required by the MCFA must be recorded and reported.
Please refer to the Political Party Committee Instructions and Forms booklet for specific information on how to report contributions and other receipts.
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 written instrument such as a check or money order. The written instrument must show the name of the person making the contribution, date and amount of the contribution and the name of the committee receiving the contribution. A committee may not accept a contribution of 20.01 or more in cash. For contributions made by credit card or electronic transmission, the committee must record and report the same type of information as for any other type of contribution.
A person may not contribution more than $41,975.00 in a calendar year to a House or Senate Caucus Committee. The caucus committee also may not accept contributions that exceed this limit. All other Political Committees, Independent Committees, Political Party Committee and Ballot Question Committees may receive unlimited contribution amounts. (Refer to Expenditures Section for Expenditure Limits.)
Loan as a Contribution A Committee may accept loans from individuals, Independent Committees, Political Party Committees and financial institutions. Loans, other than financial institution loans, are recorded as contributions. A loan received by a committee which is endorsed or guaranteed by a third party means the third party is liable for the amount loaned.
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 may be in the form of a person paying a bill for the committee, providing entertainment for a fund raiser, the free use of a facility, etc.
- The value of the 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.
- A corporation, joint stock company, labor union, domestic dependent sovereign (Indian tribe) foreign nationals or a person holding a casino interest in one of the three Detroit casinos may not make an in-kind contribution to a Candidate Committee, Political Committee, Independent Committee or Political Party Committee. Any contributions of funds, goods or services must be from the organization’s Political or Independent Committee.
Contributions from Out-of-State Groups 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
- A partnership or limited liability company is not permitted to attribute a contribution to an incorporated partner or member unless it is clearly and specifically designated by the contributor for the Political Party Committee’s administrative account, which cannot be used for candidate support or opposition.
Contribution Exemptions: 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
Advising Contributors of Filing Obligations Urged: For more information see Appendix A
Contributions To An Administrative Account Any funds received by a Political Party Committee from treasury funds of a corporation, joint stock company, labor organization or domestic dependent sovereign (Indian tribe) or funds that are clearly designated by the contributor for the committee’s administrative account must be deposited into a separate account maintained for paying administrative expenses that are totally unrelated to the party’s political activity. These funds should not be listed on a Campaign Statement and may not be used for candidate support or opposition. If the funds are not deposited in such an account, they must be returned to the contributor.
Prohibited Contributions See Appendix O
Funds received by a committee which are returned to the contributor within 30 business days after their receipt are not viewed as a “contribution” under the MCFA.
- Funds that are returned to the contributor which have not been deposited in the committee’s account 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 on the Campaign Statement covering the period during which the contribution was received and returned.