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Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer Notice

These “Frequently Asked Questions” are intended merely as a general reference tool and in no way supersede applicable statutory provisions, administrative regulations or case law. The Registry recommends a complete reading of the campaign finance laws contained in KRS Chapter 121 and the administrative regulations contained in Title 32 of the Kentucky Administrative Regulations. If you have any specific questions about the subjects covered by these questions or this website, you should contact the Registry directly.​

Frequently Asked Questions
QuestionAnswer
What is an unitemized contribution?Campaign finance law does not require the treasurer to report detailed and exact accounts of contributions of $100 or less. However, internal records must be maintained to identify the sources of contributions as they occur in order to aggregate each individual or group contribution with subsequent contributions by that particular individual or group. If a receipt is designated as "unitemized" it will not print out on the detail report. However, it will be added to the "unitemized" figure on the summary page.​​
What is the difference between “cash receipts” and “anonymous receipts”?For cash receipts, the campaign has a record of the contribution by the name of the contributor, the date and amount of the cash contribution. The maximum cash contribution that an individual may give to a candidate is $50.00 per election. Anonymous receipts are any receipts that the campaign cannot attribute to a specific contributor. For example, if a bucket was set out at a campaign event and individuals put money in the bucket, these receipts would be considered anonymous receipts as there would be no record of the contributor’s name, date and amount of the contribution. The maximum anonymous contribution is $50.00 per individual, per election. A second limitation also applies to anonymous receipts: the campaign may only keep $1,000 in anonymous contributions and anything over $1,000 must be forwarded to the State Treasury.​
What is the difference between an in-kind contribution and an independent expenditure?An in-kind contribution is goods, advertising or services furnished to a candidate, slate of candidates or committee without charge or at a rate which is less than the rate normally charged for the goods or services. The campaign is responsible for reporting the in-kind contribution on the election finance statement. An independent expenditure is the expenditure of money or other thing of value to promote a candidate, slate of candidates or committee without the campaign or any authorized person acting on behalf of the campaign having any prior knowledge of the activity. There is no limit on independent expenditures; however, an “Independent Expenditure Report” must be completed and forwarded to the Registry when the aggregate amount of the independent expenditure exceeds $500. The candidates, slate of candidates or committees are not responsible for reporting the independent expenditure on the election finance statement.​
Can I accept a contribution from a non-profit corporation?No. The campaign finance laws, as well as the Kentucky Constitution, make no distinction as to specific types of corporate contributions that are prohibited. Therefore, the corporate prohibition of contributions extends to non-profit corporations, professional service corporations (PSCs) or any other type of corporate classification or designation.
Can I accept contributions from an LLC?Yes. Limited liability companies are allowed to make contributions to candidates in the amount of $1,000 per election. For more information, see page 40 of the Candidate Guide to Campaign Finance (Revised 08/2011).
Is a check from a sole proprietorship a contribution from a contributing organization?No. A contribution on a “sole proprietorship” business check should be reported as a contribution from the individual who is the owner of the business.
I know the individual contribution limit is $1,000. Can a check be written to the campaign for more than $1,000 if two or more people are contributing?Yes. When accepting a check for more than the individual contribution limit, you must obtain a written verification from the contributors showing how much each person is contributing individually. A husband and wife may both choose to sign the contribution check before giving it to the campaign.
What are the limits on contributions that PACs may make to campaigns?PACs may contribute up to $1,000 to any candidate or slate of candidates per election. This means the PAC may contribute $1,000 in a primary and, if the candidate or slate wins the primary, the PAC may contribute $1,000 in the general election. However, PACs may only contribute $200 per election to school board candidates. An additional limit is set on PAC receipts. A campaign may only accept 50 percent of its total contributions or $10,000, whichever is the greater amount per election from PACs. Any amount over 50 percent must be refunded to the PAC.
What is the limit on contributions from affiliated PACs to candidates?When making a contribution to candidates, affiliated organizations are considered to be one (1) contributor and they are held jointly to the $1,000 contribution limit. (Example: if a state PAC made a $1,000 contribution to a candidate, the affiliated Federal PAC could not make a contribution to that candidate in that election.)
What is the difference between an in-kind contribution given by a PAC to a candidate and an independent expenditure?An in-kind contribution is goods, advertising or services furnished by a PAC without charge or at a rate which is less than the rate normally charged for the goods or services. The campaign is responsible for reporting in-kind contributions on its election finance statement. An independent expenditure is the expenditure of money or other thing of value to promote a candidate, slate of candidates or committee without the campaign or any authorized person acting on behalf of the campaign having any prior knowledge of the activity. There is no limit on independent expenditures; however, an “Independent Expenditure Report” must be completed and forwarded to the Registry when the aggregate amount of the independent expenditure exceeds $500. The candidates, slate of candidates or committee are not responsible for reporting the independent expenditure on the election finance statement.
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