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Limits & Thresholds

2021 Citywide Elections

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
SPENDING LIMITS
THRESHOLDS
Public Funds Payment

Contribution limits apply to all campaigns, whether or not you join the matching funds program. These limits apply for the entire election cycle. Both monetary and in-kind contributions of goods and services are subject to these limits. All candidates are prohibited from accepting contributions from corporations, LLCs, and partnership. If a Program participant, you are also prohibited from accepting contributions from political committees not registered with the CFB.

Office Contribution Limit
Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller $5,100
Borough President $3,950
City Council $2,850

View a list of registered political committees for this election cycle

If an individual contributor has business dealings with the city at the time their contribution is made, lower limits apply. Doing Business contributions are not eligible for matching funds and do not count toward the threshold to receive public funds.

Office Doing Business
Contribution Limit
Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller $400
Borough President $320
City Council $250

Access the Doing Business Database

Program participants must observe strict spending limits. A spending limit is the maximum total amount a campaign can spend during different periods of an election cycle. The amounts vary depending on which office you seek.

Office Out-Year *
(years prior to election year)
Primary Election General Election
Mayor $343,000 $7,286,000 $7,286,000
Public Advocate, Comptroller $343,000 $4,555,000 $4,555,000
Borough President $153,000 $1,640,000 $1,640,000
City Council $51,000 $190,000 $190,000

* Spending in excess of these amounts will be charged against the first limit applicable.

If no primary is held, there is no primary election spending limit.

If a non-participant raises or spends more than half the applicable spending limit, the spending limit for all participants in that race will be increased by 50%. If a non-participant raises or spends more than three times the applicable spending limit, participants in that race will no longer be subject to a spending limit. The CFB will review disclosure statements to see if expenditure limit relief is warranted and will notify affected campaigns. Candidates may also petition the Board if they believe that a non-participating opponent has triggered expenditure limit relief. Candidates should never assume that their expenditure limit has been increased or suspended unless they receive written confirmation from the CFB.

In order to qualify for matching funds, Program participants must meet a two-part threshold, abide by Program requirements, and face opposition on the ballot. Only the first $175 of an individual New York City resident’s contribution is applied toward meeting dollar amount threshold.

Office Minimum Funds Raised Number of Contributors
Mayor $250,000 1,000
Public Advocate, Comptroller $125,000 500
Borough President $10,000 – $50,094 * 100
City Council $5,000 75

* The threshold amount is based upon the number of persons living in each borough, according to the 2010 Census and rounded to the nearest dollar. The amount for each borough is: Bronx ($27,702), Brooklyn ($50,094), Manhattan ($31,717), Queens ($44,614), and Staten Island ($10,000).

Must be borough residents.

Must be district residents.

Maximum Public Funds Payments (Per Election—Primary and/or General)

Mayor Public Advocate Comptroller Borough President City Council
$4,007,300 $2,505,250 $2,505,250 $902,000 $104,500

The CFB issues four public funds payments per election beginning shortly after the ballot is set by the New York City Board of Elections, which typically occurs in August of the election year for the primary and in September for the general election.

There is also one potential early public funds payment that occurs in mid-June, shortly after the Certification deadline. The early payment amounts are included in the maximum potential amounts above and do not represent additional funds.

Maximum Early Public Funds Payments

Mayor Public Advocate Comptroller Borough President City Council
$250,000 $125,000 $125,000 $50,000 $10,000

For more information on public funds eligibility criteria, please see Chapter 6 of the Handbook.