Utah taxpayers shouldn't have to continue to fund the construction of Olympic facilities now that Salt Lake City lost the 1998 Winter Games to Nagano, Japan.
"We played the devil's game and we lost," said Rep. Reese Hunter, R-Salt Lake. "We were hoping to influence the (International Olympic) Committee by what we were willing to do and it didn't work. So let's stop."Hunter introduced a bill Tuesday that would stop setting aside state and local sales taxes to pay for winter sports facilities. Work would cease unless private funds became available.
Voters agreed in 1989 to spend $56 million collected over a 10-year period on ski jumps, ice rinks, a bobsled and luge track and other sites that would be used for other competitions as well as the Olympics.
But Hunter said the state has too many other pressing needs to continue the project, even though backers of the failed bid are already campaigning hard for the 2002 Winter Games.