For a list of Campaign Finance Reports filed with the
Town Clerk's office, click here.
Training Materials for Open Meeting Law and Ballot Questions
- Town Counsels info on Open Meeting Law
- Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance info on ballot questions.
- Campaign Finance Reporting - How to Avoid Common Errors
If you have questions about the legislation, please call the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) at (617) 979-8300.
Campaign Finance Filing and Requirements:
The Campaign Finance Law (M.G.L. Chapter 55) governs the financing of political campaigns in the Commonwealth at the the State, county, district, and municipal levels. Campaign Finance Reports for the Town of Belmont's Town-wide elected officials and Local Ballot Question Committees are filed with the Belmont Town Clerk following the requirements of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF). Town Party Committee filings are made directly to the State Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
McCormack State Office Building
1 Ashburton Place, Room 411
Boston, MA 02108
Every year all elected public officials for Town-wide offices must file a financial report of campaign activities by January 20th. In the year a candidate is on the ballot, she/he must file a financial report of campaign activities 8 days prior to the election and again 30 days after the election AS WELL AS by January 20th after the election. These reports must be filed whether or not the candidate spent or received any money.
Getting Started - Information and Forms
- Create a Local Campaign Committee
- Create a Local Ballot Question Committee
- Create a Local Political Party Committee
- Committee Treasurer Guide
- Running for Municipal Office Guide
Filing With the Town Clerk
Candidates with a political committee and/or candidates who have received contribution, made expenditures or incurred any liabilities, file CPF M 102 form
Candidates without political committee and have not received any contributions, made any expenditure or incurred any liabilities, file CPF M 102-0 form
Forms for Candidates who have already filed and need to amend receipts, expenditures or balances: CPF 102A.
Forms for Campaign Committees and Ballot Question Committees for itemized reimbursement in excess of $50: CPF M 102.
Reports will not be accepted unless they contain the original signature of the candidate and, if applicable, the treasurer.
Dissolving a Political Committee
OCPF offers a step-by-step guide to find out how and when to dissolve a political committee here.
Elected Officials and their Candidate Committees:
Elected officials who hold active office may not dissolve their committees. However, once they leave office, they may dissolve their committees once all outstanding liabilities have been satisfied and there are no remaining funds in their campaign accounts.
This does not mean that candidates are required to dissolve their committees upon leaving office. A candidate may leave his or her committee open as long as the candidate has not ruled out the option of seeking office in the future, even if the specific office and timetable are not known. The committee must continue to comply with all provisions of the campaign finance law and file regular disclosure reports. Dissolution is only required in those instances where a candidate has decided not to seek elected office in the future or upon the death of a candidate.
Ballot Question Committees
By law, ballot question committees must dissolve after the final determination of the question at the polls. A committee may remain open after an election in certain limited circumstances, such as a question that is defeated in a town election but is promptly re-voted at a subsequent election. Committees should contact OCPF for guidance if they want to remain open.
|Below are three resources for public officials and public employees regarding their activities either in support or in opposition to Ballot questions:|
- Interpretative Bulletin IB-92-02 from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF)
- Additional topics relating to municipal ballot questions found in the Interpretative Bulletins and publications on the OCPF website.
- A four minute video, also provided by OCPF
Settling Committee Debts and Disposing of Residual Funds
In order to dissolve, a committee must have no remaining funds or liabilities. Liabilities, including any unpaid bills or loans from a candidate, must be paid, settled, or otherwise disposed of before dissolution. The payment of any debts will be disclosed as expenditures on the final disclosure report filed by the committee.
Residual Funds may not be converted to the personal use of a candidate or any other individual. Remaining funds may only be disposed of by giving the funds to one or more of the following:
- The General Fund
- A charitable or religious organization
- A scholarship fund
- The general fund of any city or town
Those unsure whether a planned expenditure of residual funds complies with the legal standard should contact OCPF.
Filing a Dissolution Report
Dissolution is accomplished by filing a final CPF M 102 campaign finance report detailing the disposition of funds and liabilities and checking the box marked "Dissolution" as well as the appropriate type of report (8 days, 30 days or year end).
The reporting period for this report will begin the day after the last campaign finance report was filed and will end on the date of filing.