Remember Tax Credits For Schools, Charities This Christmas

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Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take time to remember to give a gift that will give back to you come April 15.

You have until Dec. 31, to make financial donations to area schools and a few state certified charities to claim the tax credits allowed by the Arizona Department of Revenue.

All area public schools are participating in the Credit for Kids program, and five organizations are also certified by the state as charities for the working poor, making any donations to them also eligible for a tax credit.

The charities, according to a list on the ADOR Web site are: Payson Area Habitat for Humanity, Payson Christian Clinic, Payson Community Kids, Payson Helping Payson and Time Out Inc.

A total of $200 per individual or $400 per married couple may be contributed and claimed as a tax credit. All the funds may go to one entity or be divided between several.

Check at the administrative offices of the Payson Unified School District, Pine Strawberry School or Tonto Basin and the designated charities for details, or call for more information. Additional information can be found on the Department of Revenue Web site.

Payson Schools has collected more than $2 million in the 12 years the tax credit has been available. Now Credit for Kids funding is needed more than ever. While the money is restricted to extracurricular activities, it is used as much for the “needs” as the “wants,” according to a press release from the PUSD office.

Without Credit for Kids funding and the Stadium Endowment, the entire athletic program at both Payson High School and Rim Country Middle School would be greatly reduced.

The Payson High School auditorium — a venue for much of the season’s special programming, as well as school and community events — has had a dramatic remodel recently. The Credit for Kids Fine Arts Fund paid for needed changes including new seating, paint and carpeting installation, curtains, steps, risers, band platforms, acoustical shells, and the piano restoration.

Each school has benefited from Credit for Kids. Despite state budget cuts, Julia Randall, Payson and Frontier Elementary Schools have maintained vibrant after-school programs in everything from math tutoring to quilt making using the Credit for Kids funds.

Rim Country Middle School and Payson High School use the Credit for Kids dollars to support well over 50 clubs like CSI Club at RCMS and Math Club at PHS, student government, athletics, music, drama, art, after-school field trips and summer enrichment programs.

Creative all-day kindergarten parents have used their own Credit for Kids contributions and those of family and friends to pay the all-day tuition — 60 students participate in all-day kindergarten this year and Credit for Kids helps their families pay the cost.

The district’s emphasis this year is the Stadium Endowment. The old rest rooms and concession stand at Longhorn Field are long overdue for replacement.

Any undesignated Credit for Kids funds donated this year will go directly to the Stadium Endowment.

Credit for Kids contributors have many, many options for their dollars. Those who need help deciding may call the Payson Schools District Office at (928) 474-2070.

Donations may be made at any school or the district office; the APS drop boxes; or via the Internet at the Payson High School website, www.pusd.k12.az.us/phs to use a credit card and make your Credit for Kids contribution by midnight, Friday, Dec. 31.

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