Sun, Jan. 19

MUHS activities depend on tax credits
Taxpayers can specify activities for deductible donation

COTTONWOOD - Many sports, clubs and activities at Mingus Union High School benefit directly from taxpayers who contribute to the school through the Arizona Tax Credit Program. Tax-deductible donations up to $400 are allowed for couples filing jointly or up to $200 for individuals.

Dollar for dollar, the state credits taxpayers' tax liability. Donations may be given to the school to use as needed through the general activity fund, or taxpayers may specify which activity receives the donation. Donations may be split among more than one club or activity.

To be eligible for this year's state tax return, donations must be made to the school by the end of the calendar year.

Eligible extracurricular activities must be school sponsored and require enrolled students to pay a fee in order to participate. That can include fees for band uniforms, equipment or uniforms for varsity athletic events, scientific laboratory materials or field trips, either in state or out of state. Senior class trips, recreational events or amusement activities are not eligible for tax credit donations.

At Mingus, all sports are eligible, along with Spirit Line. Band, choir, theater and art club all receive money from tax credit donations. Career and technology related clubs, such as auto club, FFA, Skills USA and Health Occupations of America (HOSA) all are eligible for tax credit money.

The Anti-Defamation League Club depends almost entirely on tax credits, and the school's Leadership, Interact Club, Junior State of America, Key Club and the National Honor Society all need those tax credit dollars.

Interact Club uses its tax credit money to help others. Faculty advisor for Interact Mary Lue Allen said the club has an ongoing partnership with an orphanage in Agua Prieta Mexico that Interact is buying computers for, and the club works with the Heifer Corporation to buy animals that go to countries that need resources. The club also works with the Jimmy Carter Foundation to send mosquito nets to African nations plagued with malaria. Doctors Without Borders receives nutritional supplements from the Interact Club.

The National Honor Society uses tax credits to pay for the organization's Induction Ceremony and the stoles worn at graduation by the MUHS chapter.

Oouida Dorr, faculty advisor of the MUHS photography club, said the tax credit funds are used directly for entrance fees and prepping costs for local, state and national photo and art shows.

Junior State of America gives high school students the opportunity to express their views and opinions on events that affect their community and country. Faculty advisor Amanda Lange said JSA uses its tax credit money to attend state and regional conferences where they learn and practice debate, leadership, activism, public speaking and journalism.

Heather Mulcaire, Mingus Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, wants people to know how important the tax credit donations are to her students. "The cost of materials and supplies to operate these agriculture projects run high and your tax credit dollars continue to supplement our endeavors," she stated in a letter of appreciation to past tax credit donors.

Mulcaire said the agriculture projects are helping students build skills necessary to be responsible college students or employees in the workforce. "So far we have been successful in graduating students who understand the benefits of a strong work ethic," she said.

To donate, make checks payable to MUHS Tax Credit Program. Checks may be dropped off or mailed to 1801 E. Fir St. Cottonwood, 86326. Please clearly mark the outside of the envelope "TAX CREDIT." A tax credit receipt will be mailed to donors.

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