Local Government Study Commission

When you vote on June 4th, you'll decide whether to commission a study of your county and city governments. This unique opportunity is granted to voters once every 10 years by Montana's Constitution and is designed to ensure that our governments are by the people and for the people. 

voters dropping ballots in collection box

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why commission a study to review your city and county governments?

Our county government was last updated in 1994 to support a rural population of 32,000 people. While this structure was effective for a smaller population, Gallatin County now has 124,000+ residents, rendering the old system inefficient and unable to meet current demands.  If you decide to review your city and county government, you’ll have the chance to make them more efficient and responsive.  

2. How much will this study cost taxpayers?

This study will cost each homeowner less than 68 cents for every $100,000 in their property’s market value. On average that will be less than $5 and the benefits are likely to greatly outweigh the costs. If the findings of this study help local government become even 1% more efficient, the study will more than pay for itself and save taxpayers over an additional $30 million in the next 10 years. 

3. Let’s say we vote to conduct the review... what happens next?

You'll have a say in how the local government works. You get to choose a nonpartisan group of regular citizens to dive deep into how things are run -- and how to make things better. Then you’ll get to vote on their recommendations. 

4. How often do voters have the chance to conduct this type of study?

The Montana Constitution provides voters with this opportunity only once every 10 years. If voters decide not to review their city and county governments this year, they will not have another opportunity to make changes until 2034. 

5. When was the last review of local government conducted?

The last review was conducted in 1994. Since then, the population of Gallatin County has more than tripled (from 32,000 to 125,000 citizens) and has transitioned from a rural to a metropolitan community.  

6. How could this study change your local government?

Those who perform the study can recommend that voters adopt a new government plan with changes to the powers, structures, duties, and limitations of governmental offices. They will also be able to recommend whether elections should be partisan or non-partisan. They cannot recommend policies that conflict with state law, remove elected officials, or change current taxes/fees.

For more information, visit the Montana State University Local Government Center site.

Paid for by Gallatin County
Committee Treasurer:
Whitney Bermes
311 W. Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715