The debate over legislation that would allow private companies to tax citizens, issue tax-free bonds, and build roads, sewer lines and school buildings with limited government oversight has grown so intense that lobbyists are fighting over what to call the idea.

Representatives for the real estate and home-building industries say the bills create “community development districts” or “infrastructure development districts.” Opponents, such as consumer advocacy groups and the Sierra Club, call the bills’ beneficiaries “private cities” or “sprawl machines.”

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