The opportunity to contribute to "Credit for Kids" is fast approaching. This program allows Arizona taxpayers to contribute money to schools for extracurricular activities, thus enriching the lives of our students and our community.
This opportunity also allows a state tax credit (not just a deduction from income) up to $200 for individual taxpayers or $300 for married taxpayers filing jointly. In effect, this contribution costs the taxpayer nothing.
Last year the Payson schools received more than $205,000 through this program. Some of the projects this money has allowed our schools to accomplish are a stadium project, before and after-school academic assistance, intersession classes, sports equipment, elementary band and many others.
Taxpayers are able to specifically designate which department or school will receive the funds. The Credit for Kids form lists many goals to choose from. Among these are: the stadium project to put artificial turf on the high school football field, fine arts, field trips, sports equipment and student government at the middle school; cultural awareness and career exploration for the Payson Center for Success; Childsplay theatrical productions, music programs and enrichment projects for the elementary schools.
One of the areas badly in need of funds is the Payson High School marching band. This year the band has been competing in band festivals and has even competed at the state level, receiving a silver rating. They have accomplished this with a shortage of instruments, uniforms and other necessities.
The Payson Unified School District has set a goal of $225,000 in Credit for Kids contributions. With about two weeks remaining to contribute, the PUSD this year has received more than $100,000. The Credit for Kids program is offered at all public schools in the Rim Country.
A similar program is available to support private schools, such as the Payson Community Christian School. Through the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, Inc., taxpayers can receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Arizona state income tax.
The law allows a married couple filing jointly to make a donation to the ACSTO up to $825; single taxpayers may contribute up to $500.
These contributions make it possible for the ACSTO to award tuition scholarships to families who wish to send their children to Christian schools.
The deadline for contributions to either program is Dec. 31, 2005.
Whatever goal or program you choose, please become, or continue, as a partner with Rim Country schools and extend the opportunities for the children in our communities.