ATLANTA -- Dade County, Fla., voters last week approved a half-cent sales tax increase that will funnel $60 million a year into the county's largest public hospital and that eventually could help it fund a large bond-financed construction program.

Ronald Ruppel, chief financial officer at the Jackson Memorial Medical Center, said yesterday a portion of the added revenues could be used to secure bonds to fund the hospital's current building plans as well as new construction programs that will be included in its upcoming capital plan.

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