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1989-25: Loans as In-Kind Contributions

June 08, 1989

An advisory opinion has been requested on the following questions:

1) If an individual or entity lends equipment to a campaign, which is participating under the New York City Campaign Finance Act, with the agreement that the equipment shall be returned to the lender promptly after the election, does that constitute an in-kind contribution to the campaign and an expenditure of the campaign?

2) Would the answer to the first question be any different if the lender is the candidate, the candidate's spouse, or the candidate's unemancipated child?

1) Campaign Finance Board Regulation §101(w) (1) (A) defines "in-kind contribution" to include:

a gift, subscription, loan, advance of, or payment for, any thing of value (other than money) made to or for any candidate or authorized committee.

(Emphasis added.) See also Rules and Regulations of New York State Board of Elections, 9 NYCRR §6200.6(a) (1). Thus, a loan of equipment is an in-kind contribution to and expenditure by the campaign. Campaign Finance Board Regulation §106(a). The value of the in-kind contribution may be determined as provided in §106.

2) The identity of the lender is irrelevant to the issue whether the equipment loan is an in-kind contribution.