Minn. political refund program back on books

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — After a four-year hiatus, a program that gives a small refund to people who donate to political campaigns resumes in Minnesota.

The political contribution refund is meant to incent small givers and to encourage candidates to agree to spending limits. Candidates who abide by the limits are eligible for a campaign subsidy and can offer donors a possible refund.

The program was suspended in 2009 as part of state budget cutting.

Donors are allowed to claim one refund per year regardless of how many eligible candidates or parties they give to. They can qualify for up to $50 for individual donors and $100 per couples.

Program critics dub it welfare for political causes. But supporters say the roughly $10 million per year it costs helps level the campaign-donation playing field.

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