New York Nonprofits Propose an Increase to Lobbying Registration Threshold
Small nonprofit and other grassroots organizations are pushing for a $10,000 registration threshold in New York for lobbying-related spending. Doubling the current limit would enable many of those organizations and individuals to engage in trying to influence public policy without the need to expend resources or money to comply with the state’s reporting requirements.
Nonprofit New York compiled a policy brief that found only three percent of nonprofit groups engage in lobbying with many dissuaded to participate because they are not equipped to handle the complex lobbying reporting requirements and fear the penalties that result from missteps. The study conduct by the group found that roughly 99 percent of all lobbying activity would still be reported to state regulators if the threshold is raised from $5,000 to $10,000.
When New York enacted the Lobbying Act in 1981 the threshold was set at $1,000. That was increased to $2,000 in 1999 and then pushed to $5,000 in 2006, an increase of 150 percent. Nonprofit New York’s policy brief asserts that increasing the threshold to $12,500 would be a 150 percent increase — though they’re asking for a more modest increase to $10,000.
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