Off-budget enterpriseOff-budget enterprises
s, shadow governments
, or special districts
) are a fast growing type of government
in the United States
. OBEs use public funds to further private interests. They operate outside the regulations of general-purpose government
and public scrutiny. They usually have tax
authority and some have the ability to raise revenue bonds. The fastest-growing OBE is the industrial development agency which issues tax-exempt
industrial revenue bonds to finance private business ventures.
In 1962 there were 18,323 OBEs and in 1998 there were nearly 30,000. OBEs receive about 26% of their funding from the federal government.
Political scientists Robert E. England and David R. Morgan state, "Through OBEs, Detroit is now dominated by business elites."
See also: political science, quasi-autonomous non-government organisation, special-purpose district