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OFFICIALS AGREE ON A PLAN TO FINANCE CLEVELAND STADIUM

     Elected officials in Cleveland have agreed on a $154M plan
to renovate Cleveland Stadium that would include "slightly higher
prices for parking, going to concerts, plays or sporting events,
and renting or leasing a car in Cleveland," according to the
Cleveland PLAIN DEALER.  The plan, which would also include
higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, is "essentially a melding
of several that have been proposed in recent weeks," and was said
to have the preliminary support of Mayor Michael White, city
council and county leaders.  The state will give $25M; private
sector and the team contribute $26M -- $10M of that from club
seats, $6M from naming rights; Cuyahoga County will contribute
$5.75M a year by extending the current cigarette and alcohol tax
established to pay for the Gateway sports complex; the city would
contribute the remainder through an 8% parking tax and a 2% hike
in an admissions tax and fee on renting or leasing a car.  To
extend the sin tax established for the Gateway construction,
current law requires a public vote.  Officials will ask state
lawmakers to change that law.  Also, opponents of an earlier
proposal that would have raised the parking tax to 15% in order
to pay for the stadium say that lowering the amount "does not
ensure clear sailing for the plan" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER,
6/22).
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