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RULE §81.129Office Rental

(a) The rental of office space is not required for the conduct of the primary elections.

(b) The SOS shall reimburse necessary office space rental expenses incurred with respect to the administration of the primary elections for a period beginning no earlier than November immediately preceding the primary election and ending not later than the last day of the month in which the primary election or runoff primary election, if applicable, is held.

(c) If the rental of office space is necessary, the county party shall rent office space in a regularly rented commercial building. Office rent shall not exceed the fair market rate for comparable office space in the same area.

(d) Unless such services are required in accordance with the lease agreement, no payment may be made with primary funds for janitorial services, parking, or signage.

(e) The county party may not rent or lease office space in which the party, the county chair, the county chair's spouse, or the county chair's family has a financial interest. (See definition of "family" at §81.114(b) of this chapter (relating to Conflicts of Interest).) Discounted office space does not exempt the cost from §81.114 of this chapter, Conflicts of Interest.

(f) If the party leases space for the purpose of the primary only, the county chair shall transmit a copy of the three competitive bids obtained as well as the lease agreement to the SOS, along with a copy of the final cost report.

(g) If the party maintains a lease, unrelated to the conduct of the primary, the cost of that lease will not be reimbursed in excess of 30% of the monthly rental cost by the state as a primary expense, including utilities. In addition, if the party maintains a lease unrelated to the primary, the SOS will not reimburse the party for a second lease without prior approval from the SOS.

Source Note: The provisions of this §81.129 adopted to be effective December 13, 2009, 34 TexReg 8665; amended to be effective March 7, 2012, 37 TexReg 1483; amended to be effective January 9, 2014, 39 TexReg 209; amended to be effective November 9, 2015, 40 TexReg 7811; amended to be effective October 29, 2017, 42 TexReg 5853

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