The Constitution of Finland ensures that municipalities in Finland have self-governance and taxation rights. Only in certain cases the state may interfere in the activities of the self-governing units. For example, through legislation, the government can participate in the municipality decision-making concerning provision of municipal basic services.
Municipalities decide their own tax rates but they may also receive a share of the corporate tax revenue, the amount of which is determined by the Finnish Parliament. In addition, the government supports the municipalities economically by distributing state aid according to the central government transfer system.
The municipalities and the authorities operating as part of local government cooperate closely with regional and local state authorities.
Political decision-making directs the actions of the municipality. The municipality’s topmost delegative body is the council. Its members are elected by residents every four years in local elections based on universal suffrage. The council chooses the members of the municipal executive, whose task it is to prepare the council’s decisions and put them into practice.
The municipal council also elects the committees that lead the provision of public services. The names of the municipal committees and the scope of their activities vary by municipality.