The N.C. Political Party Financing Fund programs allows taxpayers to check a block on the state income tax form and designate $3 of their state income tax to a political party. Although the Libertarians oppose giving taxpayer money to political parties, they’re asking people to designate $3 of their state income tax burden to support the state Libertarian Party.
“The PPFF should be abolished immediately,” said J.J. Sumerell, Libertarian Party state chair. “However, the North Carolina Libertarian Party will continue to accept the funds and encourage members of all parties and unaffiliated voters to check the Libertarian block on your NC tax return.”
He noted that while the designation doesn’t reduce the income tax burden, it does allow people to direct their money to a cause they support.
“It makes no difference in your tax refund or expense and, by denoting the Libertarian Party, you empower the third largest and fastest growing political party recognized in North Carolina and across the nation.,” he said.
In any case, the Libertarian share of the fund is very small. They received $98,272 during the 2012 election cycle. In the same periods, Democrats got $1,510,697 and Republicans received $933,587. In total, more than $2.5 million was designated for this fund by taxpayers.
Most of the money the Libertarians received was given to the Barbara Howe for Governor campaign, and used to buy radio and TV ads. They gave small sums to five other Libertarian candidates. Under the law, the funds must be used for “legitimate campaign expenses.”
The Libertarian Party has received these funds since 2008, when the party was first listed on the income tax form due to a clerical error even though it did not qualify. State law at the time restricted eligibility to political parties with registration of at least one percent of registered voters. Since then, the law has been changed to allow all ballot-qualified parties to get the funds.