Time to participate in the Credit For Kids program is rapidly running out.
The deadline to obtain your tax credit and ensure some of your taxes go directly to programs for school children is Dec. 31.
Payson High School Athletic Director Barry Smith said early this week it was his understanding that credits are beginning to roll in much quicker than they were a month ago.
The program dates back to 1997 when the State Legislature passed a bill that allows individuals to deduct fees paid to schools for extracurricular activities as a tax credit.
Which means taxpayers can take a $200 state tax credit for any household. The amount is a credit against liability -- not a deduction from income.
Put simply, it costs the taxpayer absolutely nothing. The choice is -- pay $200 to the Department of Revenue or to our schools to be used for a variety of extracurricular activities.
Some projects earmarked to receive the funds include after-school programs in math, reading and physical fitness at the elementary schools and vocational programs at the high school. The Payson Center for Success is to receive money for career exploration activities. The middle school will use any money received for after-school academic enrichment and intramural programs.
A districtwide goal involves the continuation of a stadium improvement project that was begun last year. The plan is to complete full-scale bleachers across the south side of the football field and possible installation of an all-weather track.
Payson has long lagged behind neighboring schools in the quality of its facilities. The plan is to remedy that situation if enough pledges are received.
Taxpayers do not have to live in the school district or have children enrolled in the district to take the $200 tax credit.
Those who donate can use tax form 322 to take the amount as a credit and get full dollar-for-dollar value against any state tax liability.
Last year, local taxpayers donated $113,779 through the tax credit program.
Call the school district at (520) 474-2070 for information on how to contribute to Credit For Kids.
The annual Fiesta Bowl-sponsored youth football clinic will be held Jan. 1 at the Arizona State University practice facility located at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Rural Road in Tempe.
The clinic is open to girls and boys in grades 4 through 8. Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m., and the session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic is limited to the first 500 youngsters to register.
To obtain application forms or for more information, call Laura Holloway at the Fiesta Bowl offices (480) 517-6270.
Registration forms must be returned by Dec. 17.
In addition to improving their football skills, the young clinicians rub shoulders with some of the best collegiate players in the nation who are on hand to tutor the aspiring players.
More holiday camps
On the baseball front, some of the returning members of the defending state champion Payson High School baseball team and others, might want to get a jump start on the preseason by participating in the Southwest Professional Baseball School.
Sessions will be held Dec. 26 to Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 at Mesa's Gene Autry Park. The cost is $275.
Call (480) 830-8031 for more information.