Tips for Committee Treasurers Filing Campaign Finance Statements

Date Description
10/11/2016 Did you know that candidates who fund their own campaign must meet the disclosure obligations provided under Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act.  This includes filing Late Contribution Reports.  You can find out more here.
10/01/2016 Did you know that during a Late Contribution Reporting period that In-Kind contributions and loans (including In-Kind contributions and loans from the candidate) also count towards a contributors cumulative total. Select this link to Appendix G of the committee manuals for more information.
09/22/2016

Did you know that if the committee's treasurer changes, then the new treasurer, the former treasurer, and the committee principals are collectively responsible for the transferal of the records.  You can find out more on this subject here.

09/22/2016 Candidate Committees:  If your candidate lost in the primary, please note the committee reporting obligations just don't go away.  You must dissolve the committee to be freed of further filing obligations and possible Late Filing Fees.  Please review Appendix W regarding the dissolution of a committee.
08/17/2016

Did you know that Candidate Committees that are required to file a Pre-Primary Campaign Statement must also file a Post-Primary Campaign Statement.  See Section 33(2)a that states in part: “A candidate committee shall file a preelection campaign statement and a postelection campaign statement for each election in which the candidate seeks nomination or election…”

07/15/2016 Do you have the correct identifier on your political sign?  Find out by reading Appendix J of the committee manuals.
07/15/2016

State and Judicial Committees, did you know that it is now mandatory to file the Statement of Organization electronically?  Find out more here.

06/02/2016 Before stepping down as the Treasurer for a committee, don’t forget to provide the current MERTS file to the new Treasurer so they can continue reporting campaign statements.  Read this ruling for more information.
02/03/2016 Do you know your committee's filing schedule for 2016?  Select your committee type below to see your schedule for 2016.  Candidates - PACs - Political Parties - Ballot Questions
02/03/2016 Do you need MERTS and/or Campaign Finance training for committees?  Select this link and register for a class.
12/10/2015 Keep up with the latest Campaign Finance news by bookmarking our CFR homepage.
12/10/2015 Have you been asked to become a committee treasurer?  Select this link to learn more about your responsibilities.
01/20/2015 MERTS calculates cumulative totals by election cycle and office sought. Remember that election cycles begin on the day following the last general election and end on the day of the next general election in which the office appears on the ballot. If you are required to file a Post-General Campaign Statement, this will include two election cycles and affect the cumulative totals on the statement.
01/20/2015 Do you need help paying and/or forgiving a loan in the MERTS software?  If you are a candidate committee, select this link to get instructions. All other committee types should elect this link.
01/20/2015 A Committee that files a Post-General Campaign Statement due between December 1 and January 30 is not required to file the Annual Campaign Statement that is due on January 31 immediately following the Post-General Campaign Statement.
06/03/2014 Have a campaign finance question?  Send an email to disclosure@michigan.gov and one of our analysts will get back to you.  If you have a MERTS software question, send an email to mertstechsupport@egov.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter @MichCFR.
10/02/2014 A Candidate committee may make expenditures via credit card.  Credit card expenses involve additional considerations and care must be taken to fully report and track the debt records, interest payment and revolving payments in the committee records.  Please review Credit Card Expenditures of the committee manual for more information.
10/02/2014 Did you know that a Candidate committee may receive contributions via credit card?  The documentation requirement and the identifying information should be the same as other contributions.  Please review Credit Card Contributions of the committee manual for more information.
10/02/2014 Does your committee owe an Immediate Disclosure Report (Late Contribution Report)?  The Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA) requires certain reports to be filed immediately.  Late Contributions include both Direct and In-kind contributions and not filing one on time will lead to costly Late Filing Fees.   Please review Appendix G of the committee manual for more information.
08/29/2014 Candidate Committees and Ballot Question Committees:  If the committee owed a Pre-Primary statement, the committee must file a Post Primary Campaign Statement.  This is true even if the committee did not have any activity to report during the Post Primary period or if the candidate lost the primary election.
07/03/2014 REMINDER:  Political Party Committees that do not have a reporting waiver and that do no support or oppose a candidate during 2014 owe a statement in July and October this year.  See the 2014 Political Party memo for more information.
07/03/2014 REMINDER:  If your candidate is not on a ballot this year and the committee does not have a reporting waiver, the committee owes a statement in July and October this year.  This is true for term limited officeholders, officeholders not on the ballot (including judicial candidates) and committees of candidates who were unsuccessful.  See the 2014 Candidate Committee memo for more information.
07/03/2014 Contribution limits to candidates are based on an "election cycle" and not per "election".   An election cycle begins on the day following a general election in which the office involved appears on the ballot and ends on the day of the next general election in which the office appears on the ballot.  For a special election, the election cycle begins on the day the special election is scheduled or the date the office involved became vacant (whichever is earlier) and ends on the day of the special election.  Select this link for a chart of the current candidate contribution limits.
06/12/2014 PACs and Political Party Committees, a  "Campaign" must be selected in the Transaction information - Expenditure screen of the MERTS software for each expenditure made to a Candidate Committee, a Ballot Question Committee, or a vendor for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot issue.
06/12/2014 You must show the full name and address of each person who contributed to your committee and you must show the occupation, employer and business address of each individual who contributed more than $100.00.
06/12/2014 A committee is not eligible for a reporting waiver if the last campaign statement shows an ending balance of over $1,000.00, an ending debt balance of over $1000.00 or both.
06/03/2014 Did you know that certain volunteer activity is not considered a contribution made to the committee?  Go here for more information.
06/03/2014 A committee should never have a negative ending balance on their campaign statement.  The committee should never be seen to be spending more money than what it receives.
06/03/2014 A new committee's first beginning balance on a campaign statement should always be zero.  A beginning balance greater than zero is caused by having receipts or expenditures dated before the coverage period of the statement.  The date of the committee's first receipt or expenditure must be included in the statement.
05/02/2014 Did you know that the state does not have a backup copy of your MERTS file?  It is very important to back up your MERTS file every time you make changes to your data.  Select this link to learn how.
04/17/2014 All campaign statements are due by 5:00 pm on the due date.  Prepare early and file early to help ensure a timely filing and reduce the risk of late filing fees.
04/17/2014 Did you know that for a committee to be eligible for dissolution it must have no assets or outstanding debts. An unpaid late filing fee is considered to be a committee debt and must be paid before the committee can be dissolved.  Please review Appendix W of the committee manuals for more information.
04/17/2014 Candidate committees can have joint fundraisers and have joint expenditures; restrictions apply.  See Appendix F for more information.  Candidate committees cannot create a joint PAC or slate committee as a substitute for a candidate committee.
04/08/2014 When creating a campaign statement in MERTS, make sure you select the correct report type.  For a list of report types and their 2014 due dates listed by committee type, elect this link.
03/20/2014 Did you know that the Official Depository for a Candidate Committee must be set up in the Committee's name?  They cannot be set up as a personal account under the Candidate's name.  Further information can be found in Appendix A of the Candidate Committee Manual.
03/12/2014 A contribution shall be considered received by a committee when it is received by the committee treasurer or a designated agent of the committee treasurer although the contribution may not be deposited in the official depository by the reporting deadline.       21(11)
03/12/2014 Committees must open a bank account if any funds are received by a person other than the candidate.  A committee cannot comingle funds with other funds; including the candidate's.  21(12)
03/12/2014 Secondary depositories must be listed on the Statement of Organization.  A secondary depository may be used only for the deposit of contributions (for example, as a temporary holding place for receipts from a joint fund raiser); it may not be used for committee expenditures.  They are most often used for joint fund raisers.  21(6)
03/12/2014 A committee cannot make expenditures without a treasurer see section 21(8).  If a treasurer resigns from a candidate committee, the candidate becomes the treasurer automatically.
03/12/2014 Have you visited the MERTS Video Library?  Get video help performing many of the tasks in MERTS.  Some of these include setting up a committee, memo itemizations, making debt payments and setting up a campaign. More information.
02/12/2014 Did you know that committee campaign finance records have to be kept for 5 years?  This would include records, bills, and receipts as required to substantiate the information contained in a campaign statement.  More information can be found here.
02/11/2014 Debt from previous elections cannot be repaid with contributions from a subsequent election that are not so designated in writing and 3 conditions are met. Find out those conditions in the Expenditures and Disbursements section of the Candidate User Manual.
02/11/2014 A Committee must not accept an anonymous contribution.  A committee that receives an anonymous contribution must donate it to a tax exempt charitable organization.  A receipt is needed for the committee's records.  So never just pass the hat for contributions or set up a "tips jar" for contributions.
02/11/2014 Did you know that it is illegal to hold raffles or other gambling events at any sort of committee fundraiser?  More information can be found at the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
01/24/2014 Did you know that contribution limits to candidates have increased? Select this link for more information. PDF icon

 

01/24/2014 When saving and naming your MERTS file, only use numeric and alphanumeric characters with no special characters (_#/?"&$@ etc…) and keep it less than 30 characters long.  Otherwise you will get an error when uploading your report to the state server.

 

01/24/2014 Do you need help adding a campaign to your MERTS software?  Select this link for an instructional video.

 

01/24/2014 The number one error with submitted campaign statements is ending balance issues.  Check out the MERTS FAQ for some help.

 

01/24/2014 To add the Treasurer's name to MERTS, create a new Name record under the Names tab and enter the treasurer's information (name, address & phone) as an "Individual". Then when you Close the report so that it can be uploaded to our server, you will select that person's name from the presented list of names.