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1989-30: Attributing Cost of Campaign Headquarters Used for Fundraising to Fundraising Allowance

July 12, 1989

An advisory opinion has been requested whether the cost or rental attributed to the portion of a campaign headquarters which is used for the campaign's fundraising operation may be characterized as an expenditure "incurred in connection with the solicitation of funds" for purposes of New York City Administrative Code §3-706(5) (b).

The Campaign Finance Act provides that costs incurred in connection with fundraising are not subject to the expenditure limits, to the extent they do not exceed the greater of twenty percent of the applicable expenditure limit or $20,000 during the period covered by the limit. Id. The cost of renting space for a fundraising operation is clearly an expenditure "incurred in connection with the solicitation of funds." If the headquarters are primarily used for fundraising purposes, the campaign may attribute the entire cost to fundraising; similarly, if they are primarily used for non-fundraising purposes, the entire cost may be so attributed. Alternatively, the Board will accept a reasonable apportionment of the rent paid for campaign headquarters between the fundraising allowance and the expenditure limits. In determining a reasonable apportionment, the campaign should consider the percentage of the headquarters' total space and time which is occupied by the fundraising operation. See also Advisory Opinions Nos. 1989-14, dated March 23, 1989, and 1989-23, dated June 8, 1989.