Time Running Out To Donate To Our Schools

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If you were among the packed house at the Rim Country Middle School Christmas Concert Wednesday night, you probably don't need this reminder.

There, in all their youthful exuberance, were what had to be half the school participating in a music program made possible by the generous support Payson residents have given through the Credit for Kids program. On stage were dozens of reasons not to forget the fast-approaching Credit for Kids deadline.

The state legislature passed the law enacting the Credit for Kids program back in 1997. It directs a portion of your tax money to the school district of your choice, rather than to the Arizona Department of Revenue. The dollar-for-dollar tax credit allows a $200 credit for individual taxpayers and a $250 credit for married taxpayers filing jointly.

The money raised goes exclusively to extracurricular activities, providing funding for things that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Things like music programs, after-school enrichment classes, tutoring sessions, fine arts, clubs and athletics.

Last year's Credit for Kids money even helped purchase a new climbing wall at Julia Randall Elementary School, and to fund a portion of the ongoing Payson High School stadium project. But last year's total, a record $189,388, might not be reached this year.

As of Dec. 20, only $94,097.00 had been received. And with a Dec. 31 deadline, time is getting short.

You don't have to donate the maximum amount to receive a tax credit. Any amount you feel comfortable with will be gratefully accepted.

Checks should be mailed to Payson schools, P.O. Box 919, Payson, AZ 85547, or placed in the Arizona Public Service drop box at Payson Town Hall.

If you want more information, call the district office at 474-2070. Except for Dec. 24 and 25, they'll be waiting by the phones for your call.

It would be easy during this shorter-than-normal holiday season to forget to sit down and write a check for $250. Or $150. Or $50. Or $5. It would be a shame if you did, because the extra money the district receives through Credit for Kids goes to support a host of worthwhile programs that cover the entire spectrum of activities. Programs like the one that packed the PHS auditorium Wednesday night.

If you were there, you already know -- it might just be the most important gift you'll give this holiday season.

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