There are exciting changes to New York City’s landmark Campaign Finance Program for candidates running in city elections beginning in 2019.
The program enhancements are designed to diminish the role of big contributions in city elections and increase the availability of public financing to candidates for city office. These changes, which were approved by voters on November 6, 2018, and took effect on January 12, 2019, include the following:
increase the matching rate on contributions from New York City residents,
increase the amount per contributor that is eligible for matching funds payments,
increase the amount of public funds candidates may receive per election,
make public funds available as early as February of the election year,
lower the contribution limits.
Candidates for elections through the 2021 elections may choose to participate in the matching funds program under the provisions that existed prior to the 2018 ballot referendum.
New Program (Option A) First public funds payments begin as early as February 2021.
Old Program (Option B) First public funds payments begin as early as June 2021. Early payments in “Option B” are capped at $250,000 for mayoral candidates, $125,000 for public advocate and comptroller candidates, $50,000 for borough president candidates, and $10,000 for city council candidates.
 Contributions received through January 11, 2019 are subject to the $6-to-$1 matching rate and only $175 of the contribution is eligible for the match, regardless of the office sought.