CHICAGO -- A petition drive opposing a half-cent sales tax in St. Paul threatens to cloud the issuance of $40 million of revenue bonds backed by the tax to help finance renovation of the city's Civic Center.

The City Council has put the bond issue. which was scheduled for a Sept. 14 pricing, on hold pending a review of the size and scope of the renovation project. Meanwhile. Moody's Investors Service, the only rating agency asked to rate the issue, has expressed concerns about assigning a rating amid grass roots efforts to oppose the tax.

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