by Jim Stirling
Research Fellow, John Locke Foundation
Early last week North Carolina State Board of Elections issued a statement announcing an automatic adjustment to campaign contribution limits, increasing the maximum contribution from $5,600 to $6,400. The state board of elections is required by statute to modify the campaign contribution limit for state and local campaigns following every election. The original limit was $5,100 per election when the law was implemented in 2015.
This $800 donation ceiling increase is based on the staggering 14.3477% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI, U.S. City Average) from July 2020 to July 2022.
Prior elections had seen limited changes to the campaign contribution ceiling, with an increase of only $500 from 2016 to 2022.
2024 Election: $6,400
The new contribution limit breaks from the incremental increases we have seen in the past and drives home the economic changes that have come with the Biden administration. For comparison, the 2008 recession only saw an 8.090% increase in the CPI from July 2006 to July 2008. The Biden administration has lead the U.S. into a staggering 9.1% increase just in 2022, the largest increase in the last 40 years.
Even with the massive increase in contribution limits, the costs of elections have been rising much faster. In November’s election, millions of dollars were dropped into legislative races in urban communities like Wake and Mecklenburg counties.