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Travel expenses paid by individuals

Unreimbursed travel expenses

The exemptions described on this page apply only to an individual’s payments for his or her own travel expenses; if an individual uses personal funds to pay the travel expenses of another, an in-kind contribution results.

$1,000 transportation exemption

An individual (including the candidate, a paid staff member or a volunteer) may voluntarily spend up to $1,000 for unreimbursed transportation expenses on behalf of the campaign without making a contribution. However, when an individual’s payments for such transportation expenses exceed $1,000 per candidate, per election, the payments are considered contributions—unless they are reimbursed by the candidate’s committee in a timely manner.

Volunteer’s exemption for meals and lodging

A campaign volunteer may spend unlimited amounts for his or her own meals and lodging without making a contribution, as long as the expenses are incidental to volunteer activity.

Reimbursed travel expenses

When the candidate or an individual working on behalf of the candidate pays any other travel expense, no contribution will result if the committee reimburses the individual within the following time limits:

  • If the expense was paid with cash or a personal check, within 30 days from the date the expense was incurred; or
  • If the expense was paid with a credit card, within 60 days of the closing date on the credit card billing statement where the charge first appears.

Outside of these time limits, the payments are in-kind contributions.