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10A.31 Designation of income tax payments.

Subdivision 1. Amount allowed. Every individual resident of Minnesota who files an income tax return or a renter and homeowner property tax refund return with the commissioner of revenue may designate on their original return that $5 shall be paid from the general fund of the state into the state elections campaign fund. If a husband and wife file a joint return, each spouse may designate that $5 shall be paid. No individual shall be allowed to designate $5 more than once in any year.

Subd. 2. Designation of account. The taxpayer may designate that the amount designated be paid into the account of a political party or into the general account.

Subd. 3. Form. The commissioner of the department of revenue shall provide on the first page of the income tax form and the renter and homeowner property tax refund return a space for the individual to indicate a wish to allocate $5 ($10 if filing a joint return) from the general fund of the state to finance election campaigns. The form shall also contain language prepared by the commissioner which permits the individual to direct the state to allocate the $5 (or $10 if filing a joint return) to: (i) one of the major political parties; (ii) any minor political party as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 13, which qualifies under the provisions of subdivision 3a; or (iii) all qualifying candidates as provided by subdivision 7. The renter and homeowner property tax refund return shall include instructions that the individual filing the return may designate $5 on the return only if the individual has not designated $5 on the income tax return.

Subd. 3a. Qualification of political parties. A major political party as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 12, qualifies for inclusion on the income tax form and property tax refund return as provided in subdivision 3, provided that it qualifies as a major political party by July 1 of the taxable year.

A minor political party as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 13 qualifies for inclusion on the income tax form and property tax refund return as provided in subdivision 3, provided that

(1)(a) if a petition is filed, it is filed by June 1 of the taxable year; or

(b) if the party ran a candidate for statewide office, that office must have been the office of governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, or attorney general; and

(2) the secretary of state certifies to the commissioner of revenue by July 1, 1984, and by July 1 of every odd-numbered year thereafter the parties which qualify as minor political parties under this subdivision.

A minor party shall be certified only if the secretary of state determines that the party satisfies the following conditions:

(a) the party meets the requirements of section 10A.01, subdivision 13, and in the last applicable election ran a candidate for the statewide offices listed in clause (1)(b) of this subdivision;

(b) it is a political party, not a principal campaign committee;

(c) it has held a state convention in the last two years, adopted a state constitution, and elected state officers; and

(d) an officer of the party has filed with the secretary of state a certification that the party held a state convention in the last two years, adopted a state constitution, and elected state officers.

Subd. 4. Appropriation. (a) The amounts designated by individuals for the state elections campaign fund, less three percent, are appropriated from the general fund and shall be credited to the appropriate account in the state elections campaign fund and annually appropriated for distribution as set forth in subdivisions 5, 6 and 7. An amount equal to three percent shall be retained in the general fund for administrative costs.

(b) In addition to the amounts in paragraph (a), $1,500,000 for each general election is appropriated from the general fund to the general account of the state elections campaign fund.

Subd. 5. Allocation to candidates. In each calendar year the money in the general account shall be allocated to candidates as follows:

(1) 21 percent for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor together;

(2) 3.6 percent for the office of attorney general;

(3) 1.8 percent each for the offices of secretary of state, state auditor, and state treasurer;

(4) In each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a four-year term, 23-1/3 percent for the office of state senator, and 46-2/3 percent for the office of state representative;

(5) In each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a two-year term, 35 percent each for the offices of state senator and state representative.

In each calendar year the money in each party account shall be allocated as follows:

(1) 14 percent for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor together;

(2) 2.4 percent for the office of attorney general;

(3) 1.2 percent each for the offices of secretary of state, state auditor, and state treasurer;

(4) In each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a four-year term, 23-1/3 percent for the office of state senator, and 46-2/3 percent for the office of state representative;

(5) In each calendar year during the period in which state senators serve a two-year term, 35 percent each for the offices of state senator and state representative;

(6) Ten percent for the state committee of a political party; money allocated to each state committee under this clause must be deposited in a separate account and must be spent for only those items enumerated in section 10A.275; money allocated to a state committee under this clause must be paid to the committee by the state treasurer as notified by the state campaign finance and public disclosure board as it is received in the account on a monthly basis, with payment on the 15th day of the calendar month following the month in which the returns were processed by the department of revenue, provided that these distributions would be equal to 90 percent of the amount of money indicated in the department of revenue's weekly unedited reports of income tax returns and property tax refund returns processed in the month, as notified by the department of revenue to the state campaign finance and public disclosure board. The amounts paid to each state committee are subject to biennial adjustment and settlement at the time of each certification required of the commissioner of revenue under subdivisions 7 and 10. If the total amount of payments received by a state committee for the period reflected on a certification by the department of revenue is different from the amount that should have been received during the period according to the certification, each subsequent monthly payment must be increased or decreased to the fullest extent possible until the amount of the overpayment is recovered or the underpayment is distributed.

To assure that moneys will be returned to the counties from which they were collected, and to assure that the distribution of those moneys rationally relates to the support for particular parties or for particular candidates within legislative districts, money from the party accounts for legislative candidates shall be distributed as follows:

Each candidate for the state senate and state house of representatives whose name is to appear on the ballot in the general election shall receive money from the candidate's party account set aside for candidates of the state senate or state house of representatives, whichever applies, according to the following formula;

For each county within the candidate's district the candidate's share of the dollars allocated in that county to the candidate's party account and set aside for that office shall be:

(a) The sum of the votes cast in the last general election in that part of the county in the candidate's district for all candidates of that candidate's party (i) whose names appeared on the ballot in each voting precinct of the state and (ii) for the state senate and state house of representatives, divided by

(b) The sum of the votes cast in that county in the last general election for all candidates of that candidate's party (i) whose names appeared on the ballot in each voting precinct in the state and (ii) for the state senate and state house of representatives, multiplied by

(c) The amount in the candidate's party account allocated in that county and set aside for the candidates for the office for which the candidate is running.

The sum of all the county shares calculated in the formula above is the candidate's share of the candidate's party account.

In a year in which an election for the state senate occurs, with respect to votes for candidates for the state senate only, "last general election" means the last general election in which an election for the state senate occurred.

For any party under whose name no candidate's name appeared on the ballot in each voting precinct in the state in the last general election, amounts in the party's account shall be allocated based on (a) the number of people voting in the last general election in that part of the county in the candidate's district, divided by (b) the number of the people voting in that county in the last general election, multiplied by (c) the amount in the candidate's party account allocated in that county and set aside for the candidates for the office for which the candidate is running.

In a year in which the first election after a legislative reapportionment is held, "the candidate's district" means the newly drawn district, and voting data from the last general election will be applied to the area encompassing the newly drawn district notwithstanding that the area was in a different district in the last general election.

If in a district there was no candidate of a party for the state senate or state house of representatives in the last general election, or if a candidate for the state senate or state house of representatives was unopposed, the vote for that office for that party shall be the average vote of all the remaining candidates of that party in each county of that district whose votes are included in the sums in clauses (a) and (b). The average vote shall be added to the sums in clauses (a) and (b) before the calculation is made for all districts in the county.

Money from a party account not distributed to candidates for state senator and representative in any election year shall be returned to the general fund of the state. Money from a party account not distributed to candidates for other offices in an election year shall be returned to the party account for reallocation to candidates as provided in clauses (1) to (6) in the following year. Money from the general account refused by any candidate shall be distributed to all other qualifying candidates in proportion to their shares as provided in this subdivision.

Subd. 6. Distribution of party accounts. As soon as the board has obtained from the secretary of state the results of the primary election, but in any event no later than one week after certification by the state canvassing board of the results of the primary, the board shall distribute the available funds in each party account, as certified by the commissioner of revenue on September 1, to the candidates of that party who have signed the agreement as provided in section 10A.322 and filed the affidavit required by section 10A.323, and whose names are to appear on the ballot in the general election, according to the allocations set forth in subdivision 5. If a candidate files the affidavit required by section 10A.323 after September 1 of the general election year, the board shall pay the candidate's allocation to the candidate at the next regular payment date for public subsidies for that election cycle that occurs at least 15 days after the candidate files the affidavit.

Subd. 7. Distribution of general account. Within two weeks after certification by the state canvassing board of the results of the general election, the board shall distribute the available funds in the general account, as certified by the commissioner of revenue on November 1 and according to allocations set forth in subdivision 5, in equal amounts to all candidates for each statewide office who received at least five percent of the votes cast in the general election for that office, and to all candidates for legislative office who received at least ten percent of the votes cast in the general election for the specific office for which they were candidates, provided that the public subsidy under this subdivision may not be paid in an amount that would cause the sum of the public subsidy paid from the party account plus the public subsidy paid from the general account and the public subsidy paid to match independent expenditures to exceed 50 percent of the expenditure limit for the candidate. If a candidate is entitled to receive an opponent's share of the general account public subsidy under section 10A.25, subdivision 10, the opponent's share must be excluded in calculating the 50 percent limit. Money from the general account not paid to a candidate because of the 50 percent limit must be distributed equally among all other qualifying candidates for the same office until all have reached the 50 percent limit or the balance in the general account is exhausted. The board shall not use the information contained in the report of the principal campaign committee of any candidate due ten days before the general election for the purpose of reducing the amount due that candidate from the general account.

Subd. 8. Repealed, 1993 c 318 art 2 s 51

Subd. 9. Repealed, 1993 c 318 art 2 s 51

Subd. 10. Distribution. In the event that on the date of either certification by the commissioner of revenue as provided in subdivisions 6 and 7, less than 98 percent of the tax returns have been processed, the commissioner of revenue shall certify to the board by December 1 the amount accumulated in each account since the previous certification. By December 15, the board shall distribute to each candidate according to the allocations as provided in subdivision 5 the amounts to which the candidates are entitled in the form of checks made "payable to the campaign fund of ......(name of candidate)......." Any money accumulated after the final certification shall be maintained in the respective accounts for distribution in the next general election year.

Subd. 11. Write-in candidate. For the purposes of this section, a write-in candidate is a candidate only upon complying with the provisions of section 10A.322, subdivision 1.

Subd. 12. Unopposed candidate not eligible. A candidate who is unopposed in both the primary election and the general election is not eligible to receive a public subsidy from the state election campaign fund. The subsidy from the party account the candidate would otherwise have been eligible to receive must be paid to the candidate's political party to be deposited in a special account under section 10A.31, subdivision 5, clause (6), and used for only those items permitted under section 10A.275.

HIST: 1974 c 470 s 31; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1976 c 307 s 26-33; 1978 c 463 s 87-95; 1980 c 587 art 3 s 4-6; 1981 c 343 s 1; 1982 c 523 art 5 s 1; 1983 c 216 art 1 s 2; 1984 c 502 art 2 s 1,2; 1984 c 514 art 2 s 1; 1985 c 248 s 3; 1Sp1985 c 14 art 1 s 1,2; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 268 art 1 s 1-3; 1988 c 686 art 1 s 42; 1Sp1989 c 1 art 10 s 1; 1990 c 480 art 5 s 1; 1991 c 199 art 2 s 1; 1991 c 349 s 19,20; 1992 c 513 art 3 s 20; 1993 c 13 art 2 s 1; 1993 c 318 art 2 s 33-36; 1Sp1993 c 3 s 3,4; 1996 c 471 art 1 s 1; 1997 c 202 art 2 s 63