Many towns and cities have villages or sections of the community that are referred to as villages but most of them are not incorporated villages. In Vermont, an incorporated village is a legal municipality. Incorporated villages have elected governments which have the authority to raise taxes and institute and enforce municipal laws. Under state law, incorporated village governments have all the same rights and responsibilities as town and city governments.
However, incorporated villages must also be associated with a town. They remain part of that town's grand list and come under the jurisdiction of the town clerk. As long as both sides agree, villages and towns may each have their own municipal services or they may share some or all of them.
Essex Junction and Essex Town each have their own public works departments, fire departments, planning and zoning departments, and recreation departments and libraries. However, they share the same police department. Some essential government functions, such as assessing property values, are performed only by Essex Town.