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44.11.603    DE MINIMIS

(1) A "de minimis act" is defined in 13-1-101, MCA. The commissioner may consider the following factors in determining whether specific acts, contributions, or expenditures are de minimis and therefore do not trigger registration, reporting, attribution, or disclosure requirements, or warrant enforcement as a campaign practices violation:

(a) whether the act, contribution, or expenditure has an ascertainable fair market value, and if so the amount of that value;

(b) in the case of an act that results in the provision of services, whether the act results in either a detriment to the provider of the services, such as an out-of-pocket expense or the preclusion of other activities;

(c) whether the act, contribution, or expenditure at issue is a single, one-time event or occurrence or multiple events or occurrences;

(d) the extent to which a particular campaign practices violation deprives the public of disclosure;

(e) other factors and circumstances similarly showing limited value or minimal harm.

(2) Acts, contributions, or expenditures that may, depending on the circumstances, be considered de minimis include:

(a) the creation of electronic or written communications or digital photos or video, on a voluntary (unpaid) basis by an individual, including the creation and outgoing content development and delivery of social media on the internet or by telephone;

(b) the provision by an individual or political committee of personal property, food, or services with a cumulative fair market value of less than $35 in the aggregate for any single election;

(c) the location value of the display of lawn or yard signs on real property, but only if the property owner does not normally and does not in fact charge a fee for display of signs;

(d) any value attributable to the display of campaign bumper stickers or signs on a vehicle, but only if the vehicle owner does not normally and does not in fact charge a fee for display of bumper stickers or signs;

(e) typographical errors or incomplete or erroneous information on a campaign finance report that is determined not to be misleading or that does not substantially affect disclosure;

(f) any failure to comply with the attribution requirements of 13-35-225, MCA, that is determined to nevertheless provide sufficient disclosure regarding who made or financed the communication;

(g) expenses associated with volunteer services or efforts, including the cost of gas, parking, and meals.

(3) Fair market value will be determined according to the description of the term in ARM 44.11.403 and 44.11.503.

 

The December 2015 poll of the Montana Legislature on proposed NEW RULE VIII (ARM 44.11.603) DE MINIMIS in MAR Notice No. 44-2-207 was as follows: 26 Senators voted the proposed rule is consistent with legislative intent; 20 Senators voted the proposed rule is contrary to legislative intent; 49 Representatives voted the proposed rule is consistent with legislative intent; and 36 Representatives voted the proposed rule is contrary to legislative intent.

 

History: 13-37-114, MCA; IMP, 13-1-101, 13-37-114, MCA; NEW, 2016 MAR p. 28, Eff. 1/9/16.

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