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RENO'S OLYMPICS BID GETS STATE TAX BOOST

Gov. Bob Miller, signing a tax package to help pay for up to $35 million in Reno-area facilities for the 1998 Winter Olympics, says he has assurances Reno is still in the running.

Miller said he spoke Tuesday with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee executive board, who said the USOC is open to proposals this weekend from all four candidate cities for the U.S. bid.Miller said he was aware of news reports that Salt Lake City and Denver had the best developed plans. However, he added Steinbrenner told him the USOC will listen to all proposals.

The Nevada governor spoke with Steinbrenner as part of a lobbying effort which has various state officials, athletes and local Olympics organizers urging USOC members to pick Reno.

Warren Lerude of the Reno-Sparks-Tahoe Olympics Committee said Miller's signing of SB474 "gives us a great advantage" because "Nevada has stepped up to the bat" with an approved financing package.

Under the plan, Washoe County's 6 percent room tax rate would go up by 1 percent, and the county's 6 percent sales tax would go up by 0.1 percent to guarantee repayment of bonds that would pay for construction of $30 million to $35 million in Olympics facilities.