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Building fund donations and lease payments

State, district and local party committees may accept unlimited funds donated specifically to defray the costs of constructing or purchasing a party office building (but not to influence any particular federal election). Such building fund donations are not considered contributions and are not subject to any limits or prohibitions, other than the prohibition against donations from foreign nationals. This exemption does not apply to national party committees because they are prohibited from raising or spending funds not subject to the limitations, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act.

A party committee must deposit such donations in a nonfederal account, since they do not meet the requirements for deposit in a federal account. Federal funds may also be used to construct or purchase a party office building. If federal funds are used for this purpose, the limitations and prohibitions of the Act apply.

If nonfederal funds are used, they are subject to the limits and prohibitions of state law. State party committees may need to report such activity under state law.

Note that this exemption does not apply to funds used to pay rent, operating costs, property taxes or other administrative expenses of a party office building.

Leasing a portion of the office building

A state or local party committee may lease a portion of its office building at the usual and normal charge. If the building is purchased or constructed with any nonfederal funds, all rental income must be treated as nonfederal funds. If the building is purchased or constructed solely with federal funds, the income may be deposited in the federal account.