Fort Collins City Council Approves New Campaign Finance Amendments - State and Federal Communications

September 3, 2020  •  

Fort Collins City Council Approves New Campaign Finance Amendments

Fort Collins City Council approved several campaign finance changes on September 1 that will take effect in time for the April 2021 city election.

The amendments include limits to how much individuals can contribute to limited liability corporations and political committees to support or oppose city races.

City Council voted 5-2 on the political committee and LLC contribution changes. This included votes in opposition from Mayor Wade Troxell and council member Ken Summers. In addition, council unanimously approved several other election code changes. The changes will apply to municipal elections for council seats, the mayoral race, and city ballot measures.

Current code allows LLCs to donate up to $75 to a candidate committee for a City Council member, or $100 to a committee for a mayoral candidate, which is the same limit for an individual. Because one person can be a member of multiple LLCs, people could bypass individual donation limits. This bypass could be accomplished by donating through various LLCs. Election finance records show this has happened in previous Fort Collins elections.

The amendment will bring this requirement into alignment with the state election code. The current code requires donations from LLCs to include statements that attribute the donation to specific LLC members. The donations attributed through an LLC will then count toward individual donation limits.

The political committee amendment will place a $100 cap on donations to political committees. There is currently no limit on contributions to political committees. This occurs when two or more people who come together to accept contributions or make expenditures to support or oppose one or more candidates.

The amendments will be presented for final passage on September 15.

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