Human Interest

Did you know that Arizona’s funding for its schools ranks 50th in the country?

If that statistic angers you, it should, according to a press release. So what does this mean to our community? The state school system is unable to provide the funding other states provide to their schools, which not only negatively affects property taxes, but also negatively affects the social climate within the community.

Every year, the Sedona-Oak Creek School District struggles with budget issues to provide our community with one of the best school systems in the state. This effort helps our community in many ways, and Sedona residents can help, even if they do not have any children in the school system, and it costs residents nothing.

Enroll in the Sedona Kids Tax Credit program, which is free and easy. By enrolling, you direct your tax dollars to our local school system.

This program funds Sedona schools for athletics, field trips, school tutoring, clubs extra-curricular activities and after school program for our students. If these students were not involved in these activities, where do you think they would be?

Last year, tax credit funds were indispensible in enhancing the learning experience at Arizona schools.

The Sedona Kids Tax Credit program allows taxpayers to take a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Arizona state income taxes for enrollments made to our local school system. This program is not a donation, but a tax credit.

For example, if a taxpayer owes $500 in Arizona state taxes and enrolls $200 in the Sedona Kids Tax Credit program, they would only have to pay $300 in state income tax. In essence, they are simply redirecting their tax payments directly to Sedona’s public schools. When preparing your taxes, all taxpayers have to do is complete Form 322 on their Arizona state tax return for the tax credit. The maximum credit allowed for this program is $200 for a single taxpayer, or $400 for a married couple.

There are other tax credit programs in the state such as Charitable Tax Credit — credit for the “working poor” — that one can enroll in also that

will not affect the amount of their enrollment into this program.

In addition, taxpayers are allowed to deduct the enrollment amount on their federal income tax return as an additional donation on Schedule A, if they itemize.

To take advantage of the credit, one must enroll by Thursday, Dec. 31. For more information on the tax credit program, visit the  Sedona Kids Tax Credit Web site or call 204-6800.

Our local schools need taxpayer support, and this is a great way to help Sedona at no cost. A better education for our children means a better future for our entire community.



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