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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

*All contributions received beginning January 12, 2018 for the 2021 Election Cycle are subject to the new program (Option A) 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

*All contributions received beginning January 12, 2018 for the 2021 Election Cycle are subject to the $8-to-$1 matching rate, and up to $250 can be matched, depending on 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

New Program (Option A)
Office Maximum Public Fund Payment
Mayor  $6,476,444
Public Advocate, Comptroller $4,048,888
Borough President $1,457,777
City Council $168,888

 

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

Timing of Payments

New Program (Option A)
First public funds payments begin as early as December 2020.

Old Program (Option B)
First public funds payments begin as early as December 2020. 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.

2021 Public Funds Payment Schedule

Payment Date

Based on Valid Matching Claims Reported in Disclosure Statement(s) Up To:

Payment Type

December 15, 2020

Disclosure Statement #5 (due July 15, 2020)

Pre-Ballot

January 15, 2021

Disclosure Statement #5 (due July 15, 2020)

Pre-Ballot

February 16, 2021

Disclosure Statement #6 (due January 15, 2021)

Pre-Ballot

March 15, 2021

Disclosure Statement #6 (due January 15, 2021)

Pre-Ballot

April 15, 2021

Disclosure Statement #7 (due March 15, 2021)

Pre-Ballot

May 13, 2021 (TBD)

Response to statement review(s) with corrected invalid matching claims

Primary Election

May 27, 2021

Disclosure Statement #8 (due May 21, 2021)

Primary Election

June 17, 2021

Disclosure Statement #9 (due June 11, 2021)

Primary Election

July 15, 2021

Disclosure Statement #9 (due June 11, 2021)

General Election

August 5, 2021

Disclosure Statement #10 (due July 15, 2021)

General Election

September 2, 2021

Disclosure Statement #11 (due August 27, 2021)

General Election

October 7, 2021

Disclosure Statement #12 (due October 1, 2021)

General Election

October 28, 2021

Disclosure Statement #13 (due October 22, 2021)

General Election

Ineligibility for Public Funds

A campaign may be ineligible to receive public funds if: 1) there is a difference between the financial activity reported by the campaign and the financial activity documented by the campaign (a “reporting variance”), 2) the campaign fails to report employment information for a portion of its matching claims, or 3) the campaign fails to provide complete and accurate backup documentation for a portion of its matching claims. See Board Rule 3-01(d) (which also lists the other factors that may lead to a determination of ineligibility). The threshold percentages for reporting variances, missing employment information, and backup documentation error rate are published for each election cycle on or before July 11 in the year before the year of the election. Campaigns that exceed any of those percentages may be ineligible to receive public funds until they correct their reporting or submit additional documentation.

For the 2021 election cycle, the percentages are:

Reporting variance (receipts): 10%. A campaign may be ineligible to receive public funds if there is a 10% difference between the amount of receipts reported and the amount of receipts documented.

Reporting variance (expenditures): 40%. A campaign may be ineligible to receive public funds if there is a 40% difference between the amount of expenditures reported and the amount of expenditures documented.

Missing employment information: 25%. A campaign may be ineligible to receive public funds if it fails to report employment information for 25% of its matching claims.

Backup documentation error rate: 20%. A campaign may be ineligible to receive public funds if it fails to provide complete and accurate backup documentation for 20% of its matching claims.

(Published July 10, 2020)