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Donations of Levin funds to state and local party committees

Levin funds are a category of funds raised by state, district and local party committees that may be spent for certain Federal Election Activities. Levin funds are donations from sources ordinarily prohibited by federal law but permitted by state law.

Limitations on Levin funds

A state or local party committee may not solicit or accept Levin funds which aggregate to more than $10,000 per donor in a calendar year. If the laws of the state in which the committee is organized limit donations to that committee to less than $10,000, that lower limit would apply.

Certain sources that cannot contribute federal funds (for example, corporations and labor organizations) may contribute Levin funds, so long as the applicable state law permits it.

Levin fund donations are not subject to the normal aggregation requirements based on affiliation between committees. While other contributions to state and local party committees aggregate toward the same limit, donations of Levin funds do not.

Similarly, while state, district and local parties can typically transfer among themselves without limit, Levin funds cannot be transferred. Any Levin funds expended or disbursed by a committee must have been raised solely by that committee. A state, district or local party committee must itself raise the federal component of an expenditure or disbursement allocated between federal and Levin funds.

Moreover, when making allocated payments for Federal Election Activity (FEA), a committee must be able to show that the federal and Levin funds it uses to make a disbursement for FEA do not include federal funds transferred to it by any other party committee.

Additionally, Levin funds may not be raised via a joint fundraiser with any other party committee.

Fundraising expenses

Expenditures to raise only federal fundswhich are to be used for FEA must be made with federal funds. However, expenditures to raise Levin funds which are to be used for FEA must be made with either entirely federal funds or Levin funds. These fundraising expenses include the cost of solicitation and the administration and planning for the event. A party committee may use federal funds raised in a federal/nonfederal fundraiser for FEA if proper allocation is used.

Prohibited sources

Party committees may not accept donations to their Levin accounts which were solicited, received, transferred or spent by, or in the name of:

  • A national committee of a political party, including their national congressional campaign committee, any officer or agent acting on behalf of the national party committee, or any entity that is directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained or controlled by the national party committee;
  • A federal candidate or officeholder, an agent of a federal candidate or officeholder, or an entity directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained or controlled by, or acting on behalf of, one or more federal candidates or individuals holding federal office; or
  • A foreign national.

Corporate and union donations and donations from federal government contractors are permissible, as long as state law does not prohibit them.

What must be reported

If a committee has less than $5,000 of aggregate receipts and disbursements for FEA in a calendar year, it is required only to report receipts and disbursements of federal funds for FEA.

If the committee has $5,000 or more of aggregate receipts and disbursements for FEA in a calendar year, it must disclose all receipts and disbursements for FEA, including Levin funds, on Schedules L, H5 and H6. Note: Once a committee crosses this threshold, it must file on a monthly basis.

Schedule L
State, district and local party committees use Schedule L to aggregate receipts and disbursements of Levin funds for the reporting period and for the calendar year-to-date.

Schedules L-A and L-B
Committees itemize receipts and disbursements of Levin funds of $200 or more on Schedules L-A and L-B.

Reporting Levin Fund receipts
Itemize any receipt of $200 or more on Schedule L-A.

Committees must categorize their receipts between donations, which are reported on Line 1a of the Levin fund aggregation page, and other receipts such as refunds or uncashed checks which are reported on Line 2. Use separate Schedules for the different categories of receipts and note the Line number in the upper-right corner.

Committees without a separate Levin account
If a committee has Levin-eligible funds in its nonfederal account, the committee is not required to report them as Levin funds until it characterizes them as such. When reporting these funds, the date of receipt is the date that the committee received them under state law, even though they are itemized on Schedule L-A in a later reporting period.