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Frequently Asked Questions - Campaign Finance


Do I need to set up a special bank account for the campaign funds?
A separate bank account needs to be established as soon as funds are accepted from an individual other than the candidate.  Inform the bank that you need another personal account, not a business account.

If a candidate is self-funding his/her campaign, the candidate does not need a separate bank account, but must list his/her own bank location on the reporting forms when requested. 

When do I officially become a candidate?
You become a candidate when you file an affidavit of candidacy.

Do I need an Employer Identification Number (Federal Tax ID Number) for a bank account?
No.  An EIN is required for filing at the state level, but it is not required for filing for county, city, or school board candidates.

Is it OK for the same person to hold multiple committee offices?
Yes.

Can a candidate also hold committee offices?
Yes.

Do I need to fill all the committee offices on the statement of organization?
No.  The law requires only a treasurer on the reports.

How do I account for in-kind contributions on a report?
Input the fair market value of an in-kind donation in the contributions section of the report and list it as an expenditure in the same period.

Can I loan money to my campaign and use contributions to pay myself back?
Yes, but you must have a separate campaign account established.  A loan should be reported as a contribution when made and as an expenditure when paid back.

Individuals have donated items for a fund-raising auction.  How do I account for this on the finance report? 
Assign the fair market value to the item and list it as an in-kind contribution.  Any money received above the fair market value is listed as a cash contribution in the appropriate reporting period.

How do I account for food brought to meetings/fundraisers, etc?
As long as the food brought by each individual falls under the itemization threshold it can be reported in the lump sum non-itemized in-kind contributions section of the report.  However, it is important to keep track of the monetary value of each food item brought and the individual who brought it as it does figure into the aggregate contribution limitation in election/non-election years.