Highway Bill Fails To
Include AMT Provision
A compromise two-year highway
authorization bill negotiated by
House and Senate lawmakers
failed to include an airport-backed proposal to exclude private
activity bonds from the Alternative
Minimum Tax (AMT). The measure
has been signed into law by
The Senate earlier this year passed
a two-year surface transportation bill
that included a temporary AMT fix.
The Senate plan would have excluded
private activity bonds from the AMT
for bonds that airports and other
entities of state and local governments
issued after the bill is enacted into
law and before Jan. 1, 2013.
AAAE had urged Congress to
include the AMT relief in the
final highway bill and to consider
including a permanent AMT fix.
As House and Senate negotiations
heated up, AAAE President Charles
Barclay again asked Congress to
provide airports with much-needed
AMT relief. In a letter to Sen.
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of
the Environment and Public Works
Committee, and other negotiators,
Barclay noted that the temporary
AMT provision could save airports
hundreds of millions of dollars.
The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act excluded private
activity bonds from the AMT for
bonds that airports and other state
and local government entities
issued in 2009 and 2010. The bill
also allowed airports and others to
current refund bonds issued after
2003 that were refunded in 2009
The temporary tax relief helped
airports move forward with
critical infrastructure projects that
had been delayed because of the
collapse of the bond market. FAA
estimates that the AMT provisions
AAAE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP
PROVIDES BOOST IN AVIATION CAREERS
Halfway through his undergraduate years at Texas A&M University, Scott
Kutchins was determined to do anything but work in aviation. Not that
he didn’t love the industry — his father and brother were established in
airport management. In fact, his father, Mike Kutchins, A.A.E., was AAAE
Chair in 1985-1986.
Despite his family’s success — or because of it — Kutchins was motivated
to follow a different path. “I told myself, ‘My dad and my brother are in the
aviation business, so I’m going to do something different,’” Kutchins said.
An early recipient of a AAAE Foundation scholarship, a program that
started while he was in school, Kutchins completed his undergraduate
degree in 1991 and landed full-time work with a general contractor.
After a year of 60-70-hour work weeks but little big-picture progress,
Kutchins took a job with a major program management firm. The job took
him to Dallas, where he worked as an engineer on the city’s original DART
light rail system. After just a few months, he was given the opportunity to
become a project manager. He next moved into DART system testing and
commissioning with another architecture/engineering firm. Three years
later, as he wanted to broaden his horizons, a major project underway
right up the road offered a seemingly ideal match for his background and
experience. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was adding a new
international terminal, and a people-mover system was part of the plan.
In 2000, Kutchins got the job. He’s been an employee of the firm — Lea+Elliott
— and fully entrenched in the aviation industry ever since. The firm has worked
on most airport train systems around the country, and the job has helped
Kutchins strengthen the very same ties that he once sought to downplay.
Kutchins’ first AAAE annual conference was in 1978 in Boston, where he
and his brother tagged along with their father. Times have changed. “Back
in the day, I was a little kid annoying people,” he joked. “Now, I’m doing
business with them.”
Along the way, he’s found that having family in the same line of work
has its benefits. Many times, when a project hit a rough patch or a
critical compromise was needed, the common ground created through
mutual contacts helped everyone find the most beneficial solution.
“It’s taught me how tight this business is,” Kutchins said. “A lot of that
revolves around AAAE.”
Scott Kutchins is one of nearly 2,000 AAAE Foundation scholarship
recipients in the program’s two-plus decades. AAAE’s scholarship
program, the largest student-focused program in aviation, has awarded
a total of more than $3 million in scholarships to deserving students,
including $235,000 in 2012.
Interested in learning more about the AAAE Foundation? Visit www.aaae.