Effects of partisanship on the municipal budgeting process


Does partisanship affect the local budget process? This study examines the effects of partisanship on the local budget process in two cities in Florida, Cocoa and Rockledge. According to the literature, the effects of partisanship are present at the national level, while at the state level, these effects diminish due to legal requirements for balanced budgets and/or factors related to the state of the economy. This study reveals that evidently, partisanship effects diminish even further at the local level. Based on surveys administered to council members and staff, this study attempts to examine the conduct of the local budget process, the relationship between partisanship and budgetary priorities, and the influence on the budget process by citizens and interest groups. Further, budget documents from 1988 to 2010 are analyzed to examine the effects of partisanship using population, unemployment, and crime as controls. Survey findings suggest that budget priorities are very similar for Republicans and Democrats at the local level; in addition, after reviewing three budget items, community development, police, fire, and also millage rates, partisan effects are found to be minimal. Overall, however, it appears that the municipal budget process in Cocoa and Rockledge is not impacted by partisanship.


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Thesis Completion



Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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