The Federal Election Commission increased the limits on the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate or national political party, as well as the overall limit on the amount an individual can give to all federal candidates and federal political committees in a two-year election cycle.
An individual can now give up to $2,600 per election to a candidate for federal office, up from $2,500. Because contribution limits for PACs do not adjust for inflation as individual limits do, this means that a couple can now jointly contribute more to a federal candidate ($5,200 combined) than a PAC can (still $5,000). The limit on an individual’s contributions to a national party committee increased to $32,400, up from $30,800. The following chart shows more details on the limits for individuals in 2013 and 2014:
|An individual may contribute to …|
|Federal Candidates||$2,600||per election|
|National party committees||$32,400||per year|
|State or local party committees’ federal accounts||$10,000||per year|
|Federal PACs||$5,000||per year|
The FEC also increased the complex aggregate limits on the amount an individual can give to all candidates and federal political committees. No individual can give more than $123,200 in total contributions to all federal candidates, parties, and PACs between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014 (up $6,200 from the last cycle). The part that adds confusion is that there are also sub-limits on how much an individual can give to (a) all candidates, (b) all political parties and PACs, and (c) all state/local parties (federal accounts) and PACs combined. These aggregate limits and sub-limits are best demonstrated in a chart:
Individuals who are politically active should consult legal counsel when tracking their biennial aggregate limits because there are many traps for the unwary to avoid.