Tax credits are getting a bad name in Arizona since the alternative fuel fiasco that ended up costing the state $200 million when it was predicted to only cost $10 million.
In the shadow of this embarrassing mistake, some legislators have now placed the school tax credit in their cross hairs because they believe it also has the potential of running amok.
Credit for Kids, a tax credit, allows taxpayers to give up to $200 to our local public schools, or $500 to private schools, for important programs that benefit our children right here at home.
You simply write a check to your local school and then deduct the same amount on your tax return as a credit. It costs you nothing and our Rim country children benefit from this funding that is used for after-school programs in math, reading and physical fitness; career exploration activities; vocational programs; academic enrichment and intramural programs; fine arts activities; and district-wide projects to improve school facilities. This tax credit is one of the best opportunities we've ever had to help our local schools.
The reason some legislators are waiting in the wings to draw the curtain on the state's school tax credit program is because it shares one uncomfortable characteristic with the alternative-fuel credit the undetermined amount of money it could cost the state. There is no cap on the credit and no way to know how many people will take advantage of it.
But the Credit for Kids program has been used responsibly for the past three years and, unlike the alternative fuel credit, people do not get a discounted vehicle by participating and therefore have little motive to abuse it.
We urge our legislators to take their sights off the school tax credit and take aim at other, more obvious areas of potential abuse.
We also urge you, our readers, to take advantage of this credit by locating the form on page B2 of today's Roundup and sending it, along with a check, to your school of choice, or drop your check into the Arizona Public Service drop box at Payson Town Hall before Dec. 31.