CHICAGO - The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in Chicago is still reviewing tax collection figures for fiscal 2008, which ended last week, but officials expect revenues may have fallen short of what was needed to fully cover debt service payments, triggering the need to tap the state sales tax backup.

MPEA officials at a board meeting last month estimated the deficit in tourism-related tax collections that are pledged to repay the bonds at $6.5 million, but a spokeswoman yesterday said the final numbers are still being calculated. "Our expectation is that we will need to tap the state sales tax, but we won't know for sure for a couple days," she said.

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