Unelected regional bureaucrats are costing the West Midlands £37 million every year, according to official figures.
The cost of regional bodies has continued to shoot up, despite the failure of plans to introduce devolved government across England.
Government grants to the unelected regional assembly have increased from £500,000 in 2001-2 to £2,071,000 in 2005-6.
The assembly was originally designed to become a directly-elected body - before the policy was abandoned by Labour two years ago.
Another £20 million was spent on administration by Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency.
The organisation is the body responsible for promoting economic development in the region, and has an annual budget of £284 million.
It was also originally designed to provide the backbone of a West Midlands regional government.
The Government Office for the West Midlands, created by the Conservatives in 1995, spent a further £14.97 million on administration.
Labour originally planned to create elected regional administrations across England, in a similar way to the devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales.
But the policy, promoted by former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, was scrapped in 2004 after voters in the North East rejected it in a referendum. Ministers concluded there was no point holding ballots in other parts of England. Instead, they are now promoting the idea of city regions, which will centre on major cities such as Birmingham and Stoke, and may involve existing local authorities rather than the creation of new tiers of government.
It is unclear whether a city region would have authority over bodies such as Advantage West Midlands.
The costs were revealed last week in a series of Parliamentary answers from Ministers. Caroline Spelman (Con Meriden), the Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: "There are a lot of better things we could be doing with £37 million.
"I have severe reservations about the value of this regional tier, which is why I support the abolition of regional assemblies and slimming down the regional government offices.
"The regional development agencies do have a role to play promoting enterprise but they need to return to that role.
"For example, they have been given the task of funding community centres and childcare, when they should be focusing on the needs of industry."
A spokesman for Advantage West Midlands said: "We also raise our own funds, and had a total budget of £300 million last year. That means our administration costs come to six pence in every pound, leaving 94 pence for regional initiatives.
"Given the breadth of work we do, we think that is terrific value for taxpayers' money."
Rose Poulter, policy director of West Midlands Regional Assembly, said the assembly carried out a range of important work, including drawing up planning and housing strategies for the region, monitoring Advantage West Midlands and co-ordinating a range of regional bodies.