A municipality is usually an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government or jurisdiction. The term municipality is also used to mean the governing, ruling body of a municipality.A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district. The term is derived from French "municipalité" and Latin "municipalis".The English word "Municipality" derives from the Latin social contract "municipium", meaning duty holders, referring to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state (granting Roman citizenship to the inhabitants) while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments (a limited autonomy).
The power of municipalities range from virtual autonomy to complete subordination to the state. Municipalities may have the right to tax individuals and corporations with income tax, property tax, and corporate income tax, but may also receive substantial funding from the state.
In various countries, municipalities are sometimes referred to as "communes", from Latin, notably in Romance languages such as French commune (Benin, France), Italian comune, Romanian comună, and Spanish comuna (Chile), and in Germanic languages such as German Kommune, Swedish kommun, and Norwegian/Danish kommune. Other terms include Spanish ayuntamiento, and municipalidad (cognate to "municipality") and Polish gmina.
In Canada, municipalities are local governments established through provincial and territorial legislation, usually within general municipal statutes. Types of municipalities within Canada include cities, district municipalities, municipal districts, municipalities, parishes, rural municipalities, towns, townships, villages, and villes among others.The Province of Ontario has different tiers of municipalities, including lower, upper, and single tiers. Types of upper tier municipalities in Ontario include counties and regional municipalities. Nova Scotia also has regional municipalities, which include cities,counties, districts, or towns as municipal units.In the United States, "municipality" is usually understood as a city, town, village, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation. In a state law context, some U.S. state codes define "municipality" more widely, from the state itself to any political subdivisions given jurisdiction over an area that may include multiple populated places and unpopulated places.