CHICAGO — Fitch Ratings this week downgraded $572 million of sales tax-backed debt issued by Hamilton County, Ohio, as it faces a steep decline in the revenue source that funds general operations and its two major sports stadiums.

The rating action comes as the Hamilton County board signed off on a $209 million general fund budget for 2010 that anticipates a 3.8% decline in sales tax revenue — the fund’s largest revenue source.

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