WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors is pushing a "compettive cities" bill that would free tax-exempt bonds issued to finance the development of inner cities and other economically depressed regions from the tough bond curbs that were included in the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

The group has been trying to sell the legislation to Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the House Urban Caucus, and the House Massachusetts delegation in hopes that individual members will volunteer to sponsor the bill, Howard R. Leibowitz, an aide to the conference's new president, Mayor Raymond Flynn of Boston, said yesterday.

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