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TAXPAYERS, LOWER YOUR TAXES AND SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS!
 
TAX CREDIT: HOW DOES IT WORK?

A Tax Credit, which is the dollar-for dollar reduction of your tax liability, is better than a tax deduction, which only reduces your taxable income before taxes are computed.

Instead of sending all your state taxes to the State of Arizona, you can make a contribution to a public school. A.R.S. §43-1089.01 allows taxpayers a TAX CREDIT  up to $200.00 for “Single” or “Head of Household” tax filers and up to $400.00 for “Married Couple Filing a Joint Return” when contributing to EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES in public schools. This gives you the opportunity to help your local school. The tax credit is available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they have children in school. It would be advisable to consult your tax advisor regarding your specific tax status.

What is an EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY?

Extracurricular activity means any optional, non-credit educational or competitive school sponsored activity that supplements the education program of the school. Activities such as sports, visual and performing arts, field trips, outdoor education or character education programs can be funded with tax credit money. Extracurricular activities do not include any events that are recreational, amusement or tourist activities.

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
You may select which school and which program you would like to support. The amount of the tax credit you take does not have to be for the total allowance. You can make a difference in our schools with just $50.00, $75.00, or $100.00. In addition, the credit may be split between one or more schools and/or one or more programs. 

HOW CAN I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TAX CREDIT? UPDATE

Complete the attached form and return to the school of your choice by April 15, 2020 or mail to the District Office prior to April 15, 2020 in order to take it off your State of Arizona taxes at the time you file for 2019. Arizona Tax Credit Donation Form
Create an online payment by going to this link  

It is easy! The District will provide you with a receipt verifying that you have contributed to an eligible extracurricular activity.

For more information contact Wendy Taylor at the District Office, 623-535-6000.

When you provide a check as payment, you authorize the Litchfield Elementary School District (LESD) either to use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction

Political Activity

Arizona Revised Statutes section 15-511 (A.R.S. §15-511-H) prohibits school districts from using school resources to influence the outcome of an election. Litchfield Elementary School District employees have the right to be involved in politics as private citizens on their own personal time; however, while they are on duty, they cannot encourage people to vote one way or another, or use district resources to do so. It is imperative that campaigning and advocacy efforts on behalf of specific candidates, ballot measures, bonds and overrides by school board members and public school employees stay within the bounds of the law. 

SCHOOL DISTRICTS CAN:

  • Inform parents and community members how to register to vote, remind them of election days, and encourage them to vote, as long as there is no attempt to say how to vote.
  • Allow outside groups, including parent organizations, to use school buildings to hold meetings in support of a campaign, providing those groups lease the facilities in the manner any other group would be allowed to lease.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS CANNOT:

  • Expend funds for membership in an organization that attempts to influence the outcome of an election.
  • Post campaign signs or distribute campaign literature in District buildings.

INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS OR EMPLOYEES CAN:

Individual Board members or school employees not on school time may exercise their free speech rights and get involved in campaigns, including the following:

  • As private citizens, during non-duty time off campus, using private resources (computers, phones, paper, etc.) advocate, circulate petitions, express your opinions, distribute literature, wear buttons, use bumper stickers (even when parked for the day at work), make speeches, make contributions, etc. Employees should make it clear you're not representing or acting on behalf of the District when you do any of these things.
  • Receive literature in a school mailbox, e-mail, etc. which attempts to influence elections - just don't re-distribute or forward it. Don't forward a political "rant".
  • If at an extracurricular activity (e.g. basketball game) campaign only if not on duty/assisting with supervision, etc.
  • Conduct non-partisan activity designed to encourage individuals to register to vote and make voter registration forms available on school district property if you regularly do so throughout the year. 
  • Respond to questions about ballot measures so long as the responses provide factual information in a neutral manner and do not present a clear and unmistakable pleas for or against measures.
  • May prepare and distribute informational reports required by statue in connection with a bond election or a budget override (including publicity pamphlet), and investigate fiscal impact of ballot measure on the district. 
  • Host non-partisan forum for the purpose of educating voters on an issue, and allow the renting or lease of buildings and facilities if all groups have the same rights and conditions attached to their use. 

Best practice - avoid electioneering at District or school events.

INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS OR EMPLOYEES CANNOT:

Individual Board members or school employees cannot:

  • Display campaign signs, banners sticker or other advocacy for or against any party, candidate or ballot item in classrooms, on school walls, fences, etc. Sole exception: if displayed during an appropriate lesson as part of the approved curriculum a teacher is hired to teach, and campaign items are presented from all candidates or sides of an issue. 
  • Wear political buttons, T-shirts, etc., designed to influence an election while on duty at work, supervising activities, etc., whether in school or at school-sponsored extracurricular events on or off campus. 
  • Permit use (whether paid or free) of school premises for meetings by one side only in an election: users must have equal access, subject to facility use policies and fee schedules.
  • Use the authority of your position to influence the vote or political activity of a subordinate.
  • Use school mailboxes, mail distribution services, e-mail, telephones, etc. to distribute literature or communicate to influence the outcome of elections, including forwarding emails you receive (even to your own personal email), or using school phones as phone banks. 
  • Give students literature advocating for a candidate or ballot measure, or proposed legislation. 
  • Circulate petitions or fundraise for candidates or ballot measures, except during non-duty hours outside instructional settings, best practice-don't do this at school ever. 
  • Solicit contributions to be used in support of or opposition to a candidate, recall, ballot measure or political party. This does not prohibit individual employees from voluntarily exercising their right to solicit contributions on non-duty time, outside the classroom or other instructional settings.