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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Political Science

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The current literature regarding the relationship between campaign contributions and roll call voting by elected officials has primarily focused on the congressional level. This study begins to fill the holes in this topic by utilizing city councilor contributions from likely business owners and their stance on tax classification in their respective communities. In this study, I examine contribution data from municipal officials in fourteen communities in Massachusetts as well as the expressed opinions made by city councilors in the 2018 tax classification hearings in order to test the theories that (1) there is a correlation between the actions of political elites and the interests of campaign contributors at the municipal level and (2) that municipal candidates heavily rely on contributions from the business community to finance their campaigns. Though the results are limited, the evidence suggests that if any relationship exists it is negligible and unlikely to exist at any level that would validate concern. The findings also suggest that candidates for office in smaller municipalities are not as dependent on contributions from the business community as those in large cities or at the congressional level.

Keywords: Massachusetts, tax classification, municipal, campaign contributions, municipal campaign donations, special interest contributions.


First Advisor

Justin Gross

Second Advisor

Ray La Raja

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.