A second tabulation of 2005 Credit for Kids donations produced rounds of good news in the Payson School District.
The latest count, completed midday Jan. 12, shows proceeds from the tax program have reached about $243,000 -- $5,000 more than originally thought.
District receptionist Susan Campbell, who is charged with tabulating Credit for Kids funds, said the last minute increase was due to late arriving contributions and the clarification of payroll deduction donations from district employees.
The 2005 total represents an all-time high for the district, a 19 percent increase over last year, when $205,050.41 was collected and exceeds the district's goal of $225,000.
Campbell doesn't attribute the sizable increase in contributions to the 2005 change in the tax program that allowed donations of $300 rather than $250 for married taxpayers.
"I think we had more donors than we did in previous years," she said. "But most people did give the full $300."
In contributing to Credit for Kids, taxpayers were allowed to indicate the school or program where their donations are to be used.
Although exact amounts awarded to each school won't be known for a few days, it is clear the single biggest recipient, and the one with the greatest increase over 2004, was Payson High School.
PHS will receive about $63,000 -- a 43 percent increase over last year when the school received $43,967.
PHS principal Roy Sandoval promises the money will be put to good use.
"I'm excited for the kids because it will provide them so many opportunities," he said. "I'm also thankful and grateful; this shows how much the people really care about our schools and our kids."
In addition to the boost in contributions to PHS, Rim Country Middle School enjoyed an increase of about 34 percent -- from $20,465.83 to $27,000.
Although PHS and RCMS received the largest increases, every school in the district received more than last year.
- Frontier Elementary School -- $26,000 from $24,092.46 in 2004.
- Julia Randall School -- $30,000 from $28,663.83 in 2004.
- Payson Elementary School -- $20,000 from $18,795.50 in 2004.
- Payson Center for Success -- $20,000 from $18,530.
The Stadium Improvement Project received about $55,000 -- a $5,000 increase over 2004.
PHS athletic director Dave Bradley said he is mulling over the best way to use the money, but has his sights on completing the improvement project that was started more than a decade ago.
Although Credit for Kids final tabulations are continuing, Campbell said she is extremely grateful to all the school secretaries and the PHS bookstore for their efforts in collecting and counting donations.
"They did such a wonderful job," she said.
The Credit for Kids program became law in 1997. It allows households to deduct, as a tax credit, fees paid to schools for extracurricular activities. Because the donations are a dollar-for-dollar credit, there is no cost to the taxpayer.
Among the extracurricular programs that have benefited from the funds are drama, after-school tutoring, band, Science Olympiad, Outdoor Adventure Club, FES Wolf Impressions, orchestra, athletic teams, cultural awareness projects and field trips.
In 2006, married taxpayers filing jointly will be allowed to donate $400 to Credit for Kids.