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Limits & Thresholds

2021 Citywide Elections

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
SPENDING LIMITS
THRESHOLDS
Public Funds Payment

Contribution limits apply to all campaigns, whether or not you join the matching funds program.  Both monetary and in-kind contributions of goods and services are subject to these limits. All candidates are prohibited from accepting contributions from corporations, LLCs, and partnerships. Candidates are prohibited from accepting contributions from political committees not registered with the CFB. View a list of registered political committees for this election cycle.

Office New Program
(Option A) Participant*
Old Program
(Option B) Participant
Non-Participant
Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller $2,000 $5,100 $5,100
Borough President $1,500 $3,950 $3,950
City Council $1,000 $2,850 $2,850

*Contributions received through January 11, 2019 for the 2021 elections are subject to the old program (Option B)’s contribution limits.

If an individual contributor has business dealings with the city at the time their contribution is made, lower limits apply. Doing business contributions are not eligible for matching funds and do not count toward the threshold to receive public funds.

Office Doing Business
Contribution Limit
Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller $400
Borough President $320
City Council $250

Access the Doing Business Database

Program participants must observe strict spending limits. A spending limit is the maximum total amount a campaign can spend during different periods of an election cycle. The amounts vary depending on which office you seek.

Office Out-Year *
(years prior to election year)
Primary Election General Election
Mayor $343,000 $7,286,000 $7,286,000
Public Advocate, Comptroller $343,000 $4,555,000 $4,555,000
Borough President $153,000 $1,640,000 $1,640,000
City Council $51,000 $190,000 $190,000

* Spending in excess of these amounts will be charged against the first limit applicable.

If no primary is held, there is no primary election spending limit.

If a non-participant raises or spends more than half the applicable spending limit, the spending limit for all participants in that race will be increased by 50%. If a non-participant raises or spends more than three times the applicable spending limit, participants in that race will no longer be subject to a spending limit. The CFB will review disclosure statements to see if expenditure limit relief is warranted and will notify affected campaigns. Candidates may also petition the Board if they believe that a non-participating opponent has triggered expenditure limit relief. Candidates should never assume that their expenditure limit has been increased or suspended unless they receive written confirmation from the CFB.

Program participants must meet this two-part fundraising threshold, abide by Program requirements, and face opposition on the ballot to qualify for public funding. Only the first $175 to $250, depending on the candidate’s program choice, of an individual New York City resident’s contribution is applied toward meeting the dollar amount threshold.

Office Minimum Funds Raised Number of Contributors
Mayor $250,000 1,000
Public Advocate, Comptroller $125,000 500
Borough President $10,000 – $50,094 * 100
City Council $5,000 75

* The threshold amount is based upon the number of persons living in each borough, according to the 2010 Census and rounded to the nearest dollar. The amount for each borough is: Bronx ($27,702), Brooklyn ($50,094), Manhattan ($31,717), Queens ($44,614), and Staten Island ($10,000).

Must be borough residents.

Must be district residents.

Public Funds Matching Rate

The Program matches each dollar a New York City resident gives, up to $250, with up to eight dollars in public funds, for a maximum of $2,000 in public funds per contributor.

New Program (Option A)*
Office Matching Rate Maximum Matchable Per Contributor Maximum Public Funds Per Contributor
Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller $8-to-$1 $250 $2,000
Borough President, City Council $175 $1,400

*Contributions received through January 11, 2019 for the 2021 elections are subject to the $6-to-$1 matching rate and only the first $175 can be matched regardless of the office sought.

Old Program (Option B)
Office Matching Rate Maximum Matchable Per Contributor Maximum Public Funds Per Contributor
All Offices $6-to-$1 $175 $1,050

Maximum Public Funds Payment

The maximum a candidate can receive in public funds per election equals 75% of the applicable spending limit.

New Program (Option A)
Office Maximum Public Fund Payment*
Mayor  $5,464,500
Public Advocate, Comptroller $3,416,250
Borough President $1,230,000
City Council $142,500

*75% of applicable spending limit.

Old Program (Option B)
Office Maximum Public Fund Payment*
Mayor  $4,007,300
Public Advocate, Comptroller $2,505,250
Borough President $902,000
City Council $104,500

*55% of applicable spending limit.

Timing of Payments

New Program (Option A)
First public funds payments begin as early as February 2021.

Old Program (Option B)
First public funds payments begin as early as June 2021. Early payments in “Option B” are capped at $250,000 for mayoral candidates, $125,000 for public advocate and comptroller candidates, $50,000 for borough president candidates, and $10,000 for city council candidates.

For more information on public funds eligibility criteria, please see Chapter 6 of the Handbook.

For more information on the new and old programs and how to join, see Join the Matching Funds Program.