As the clock ticks away toward a new millennium, the time to allocate up to $200 of your state tax money for local schools is running out.
Payson Unified School District Superintendent Herb Weissenfels said, "The (Credit for Kids) program ends the last day of this month. We have just a couple weeks left before we hit the deadline."
Actually, there is less time than that because the district's offices will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.
"We're running a little bit behind last year," Weissenfels said Friday. "Last year, we received $117,000. Currently, we're at $90,000."
He said the money comes directly off a tax payer's liability when state tax is paid.
"What that amounts to is it provides tax payers with the opportunity to directly determine where up to $200 of their tax money will be spent."
The process is simple, he said. "They leave cash or a check here with us and we'll send them a receipt that's usable for a tax refund."
People can also fill out the form and mail it in with a check or money order to the district.
"This form lists all of the board-approved projects," Weissenfels said. Among the projects are Payson Elementary School's after-school extracurricular programs, a Payson High School stadium project, and any of the fine arts programs in the district.
"These are all listed on that form and they can check off any one they want," Weissenfels said.
He said the relatively new program, which is in its third year, will last as long as the Legislature allows.
Reba Scates, a volunteer who handles Credit for Kids at Pine-Strawberry School, said that school is about $4,000 short of last year's total, with $23,375 collected to date.
P-S School District residents are asking that their tax dollars go for sports programs, music and trips.
"Whatever people have written on their checks, that's what they've designated," said P-S School receptionist Kathy Brunson.
Weissenfels said, "Hopefully, people will hurry up and take part in this Credit for Kids program. The community of Payson has been generous and we hope they keep it up."
People who want to take advantage of this program can send checks or money orders with applications to: Payson Unified Schools Credit for Kids, P.O. Box 919, Payson, AZ 85547, or Pine Strawberry School's Credit for Kids, P.O. Box 1150, Pine, AZ 85544 or stop by either of the district's offices.