DALLAS — With the year-end deadline approaching, Houston this week will refund $94 million of private-activity bonds for its airport system with variable-rate debt to gain exemption from federal alternative-minimum tax provisions.

The negotiated deal with Citi comes as the AMT exemption for private-activity bonds nears its end. Congress failed to extend the exemption beyond 2010, though there is talk that lawmakers might renew it in 2011, along with the Build America Bond program that has given municipal bond issuers access to the taxable market.

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