The article considers the range of institutional problems of transition to the system of strategic planning, associated with the formation of the organizational-legal and economic preconditions for the inclusion of municipal government into this system of management. The author concludes that a long period in the development of Russian local self-government has actually been devoted to eliminating the shortcomings initially contained in the original version of the municipal reform in Russian Federation, established by the Federal Law no. 131 in 2003. These shortcomings have not only minimized the positive socio-economic effect of the reform and have led to the loss of citizens’ confidence in local governments, but have now become a significant obstacle to the inclusion of municipal government into the single vertical chain of strategic planning. Apparently, it was the due to the awareness of these difficulties that the participation of the municipal-level management in the above-mentioned vertical of strategic planning was described in Federal Law no. 172 of 2014 in a very vague, optional form. Such a situation with the legal regulation of municipal strategies is unacceptable for fully incorporating strategic planning, including managing the spatial aspects of Russian economic development. However, the article has established that a simple projection of the obligation to form strategic plans for all levels of the local government system will not yield any positive result. It is necessary to significantly strengthen the economic foundations of Russian local self-government and, above all, its fiscal base.