It is down to the wire for Credit for Kids contributions. The state dollar-for-dollar tax credit that gives money to public schools for extracurricular activities is due by midnight, Thursday, Dec. 31.
“None of the Credit for Kids funds can be replaced by district operating funds. That’s what makes your Credit for Kids contribution so important,” said Susan Campbell, with Payson schools. “There are many ways to designate your contribution. Please, now more than ever, find your favorite and write your check today.”
Single taxpayers can designate where up to $200 of their tax money is used, and for married, joint-filers, the maximum credit is $400.
Schools use the money to fund various activities including clubs, sports, music and drama groups, and after-school programs.
Last year, the Payson Unified School District took in $262,000 through the program and the Pine-Strawberry School District received $54,540 in donations.
With so many clubs, sports, organizations, activities and trips depending on Credit for Kids to offset their expenses, it can be hard deciding where to earmark your Credit for Kids dollars; however, wherever you send your money, it is valued.
Last year, tax dollars donated to the fine arts fund supported music, art and drama activities and subsidized major improvements in the Payson High School auditorium. Improvements include replacement of the stage curtains in partnership with Tonto Community Concert Association, new acoustic shells, risers and band platforms, art display panels for the lobby and restoration of the district’s 30-year-old Kimball grand piano.
“Payson Schools has worked hard to make the auditorium, Payson’s only large indoor venue, available for community use and to assure a clean, well-equipped hall for major presentations,” Campbell said. “The auditorium is also a place where students learn the craft of technical theater. Certified student theater techs run lights and sound for school and community events.”
The auditorium still needs modern, digital sound and light boards, improved lighting and sound.
Payson High School has also used fine art funds to outfit keyboard, guitar and digital photography labs, replace instruments, refurbish handbells, send the choir to Carnegie Hall and place kilns and pottery wheels in art rooms.
The Stadium Project does for sports what the fine arts fund does for music, art and drama. Donors provide funds for upkeep of the track and upgrades to Longhorn Stadium.
Over the 11-year history of Credit for Kids, the Stadium Project has taken in more than half a million and since the fine arts fund started in 2006, it has brought in almost $140,000. Contributions can be placed in APS drop boxes, brought to the PUSD District Office, 902 W. Main St., or mailed to P.O. Box 919, Payson, AZ 85547.