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Raising contributions to retire debts

If a committee has net debts outstanding after an election is over, a campaign may accept contributions after the election to retire the debts provided that:

  • The contribution is designatedfor that election (since an undesignated contributionmade after an election counts toward the limit for the candidate’supcoming election, unless the campaign requests its redesignation);
  • The contribution does not exceed the contributor’s limit for the designated election; and
  • The campaign has net debts outstandingfor the designated election on the day it receives the contribution.

How to calculate net debts outstanding

A campaign’s net debts outstanding consist of unpaid debts incurred with respect to the particular election minus the sum of cash on hand and the total amounts owed to the campaign.

Unpaid debts

Unpaid debts include the following:

  • All outstanding debts and obligations,
  • The estimated cost of raising funds to liquidate the debts, and
  • If the campaign is terminating, estimated winding down costs (for example, office rental, staff salaries and office supplies).

Cash on hand and amounts owed to the campaign

Cash on hand consists of the resources available to pay the campaign’s total debts, including currency, deposited funds, traveler’s checks, certificates of deposit, treasury bills and any other investments valued at fair market value.

For the purpose of calculating net debts outstanding for the primary, cash-on-hand need not include contributions designated for the general.

Amounts owed to the campaign includes credits, refunds of deposits, returns and receivables or a commercially reasonable estimate of the collectible amount.

Adjustment to net debts total

A campaign first calculates its net debts outstanding as of the day of the election. Thereafter, the campaign continually recalculates its total net debts outstanding as additional funds are received for, or spent on, the election for which the debt remains.

Contributions exceeding net debts

If, on the same day, a campaign receives several contributions made after the election that, together, exceed the amount needed to retire its debts, the campaign may: