This is the first and only text dealing exclusively and authoritatively with municipal and county government in the Big Sky state. The authors examine the architecture, politics and needed reforms of Montana's local governments within the context of the American federal system and within the constitutional framework of Montana state government. Also included in this work is a critical analysis of the Montana political system as it enters the Twenty-First Century and a detailed description of how local politics shapes the policy decisions of county and municipal officials. Other chapters detail local taxes and finances, typical functions of county and municipal governments and special districts, community development strategies and self-government powers. Also includes the U.S. Constitution and the Montana State Constitution.