For the third straight year, Arizona taxpayers can receive a tax break by donating to schools. Yes, that’s right, anyone who contributes up to $200 to the Williams School District can receive that money back in the form of a tax credit on their state tax returns.
"They money stays right here," said Albert Sandoval, district business manager. "All they (contributors) have to do is come into the superintendent’s office and fill out a tax credit donation form."
Last year, Williams received $16,625. The first year of the program the school got $12,226 in contributions.
"So far this year, we have received $2,250," said Jac Heiss, Williams Schools Superintendent. "We’ve got a ways to go, but it’s very early."
Heiss said most donations normally come in during December.
"It’s working like a charm so far," he said.
In the past, the money has been used to purchase supplies for the welding program, helped to improve the computer repair program, pay for field trips along with art and nurse supplies.
The band program received around $5,000 from last year’s donations. Scott Grimes, Williams band teacher, said the tax credit really helps out his program.
"We’ve been able to get instruments, retain tutors and buy things for the band auction," he said. "It’s been a tremendous boost in assisting the financial needs of the band."
Grimes said "you can’t lose" giving to the tax credit.
"This is the only time in history where you can decide where your tax money goes," he said.
People can choose from 25 different extra-curricular activities in the Williams School District to donate to, Heiss said. The list includes athletics, music, art, multi-age, gifted, publications, field trips and many more.
"If they would like, they can select a program," he said.
Heiss added contributors can split the donations between programs if they wish.
Grimes is such a proponent of the tax credit he will again be going door-to-door to urge residents to take advantage of the credit.
Because Dec. 31 lands on a Sunday this year, Heiss suggests getting donations into the school by Dec. 29 to take advantage of the tax credit. The school will be open during Christmas break from 9 a.m.-noon. Once the donation is received, the school district will give the person a copy which they need to file with their tax return.
Contributors should be aware of the following:
• Payments must be received by the school before Dec. 31.
• Credits are limited to $200 per individual or married taxpayers filing joint returns.
• Credits are not available to businesses.
• Contributions cannot be used for normal school operations such as books, supplies, etc.
• Credits are available for up to $200 tax liability. Contributors with liability less than $200 can only get credit up to that amount.
• Contributors do not have to have a child enrolled in the school to take the credit.
For more information or to obtain a donation form, call the district office at 635-4473 or stop by 515 S. Ninth St.