Tax Credits

Representatives from the Flagstaff Tax Credit Coalition are working to educate residents about the importance of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. From left to right: Devonna McLaughlin, Kelly Elliott, Amanda Kristinat, Dianna Sanchez, Lindsey Speer, Aileen Fitz, Sharon Rose Wilcox, Mary Lawson, Lisa Aguinaga, Bill Packard, Robin Lami, Steve Conrad, Jennifer O'Neill and Ceara Chirovsky.

Cutline: Representatives from the Flagstaff Tax Credit Coalition are working to educate residents about the importance of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. From left to right: Devonna McLaughlin, Kelly Elliott, Amanda Kristinat, Dianna Sanchez, Lindsey Speer, Aileen Fitz, Sharon Rose Wilcox, Mary Lawson, Lisa Aguinaga, Bill Packard, Robin Lami, Steve Conrad, Jennifer O'Neill and Ceara Chirovsky.

Arizona Daily Sun

Editorial

Flagstaff is such a generous and giving community.

We care about our neighbors and friends and we work to make our community, our state and our nation a better place for each other to live, grow and thrive.

But Flagstaff can be a tough place to live. Our cost of living (driven by our cost of housing) is higher than the national average. Our wages are lower, on average, than those in the big city to our south. And families struggle here with food insecurity, healthcare costs, childcare and housing.

Our nonprofits provide a vital social safety net working daily to meet the growing need and to empower families and individuals to be successful. Local nonprofits help victims of violence escape abuse. They provide job training and support to unemployed individuals and the disabled. They offer healthcare at free and reduced prices to ensure individuals, families and children remain healthy. And, often, these nonprofits do it all on shoestring budgets, cobbling together federal and state grants, foundation gifts and individual donations.

The need is great. But it’s easier than ever to make a significant, meaningful impact in the lives of our less-fortunate neighbors.

Thanks to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, Arizona taxpayers can make a donation to a qualified charitable organization – up to $400 for an individual or $800 for a couple filing jointly – and get that money back, dollar-for-dollar on their state taxes.

While the money comes back to taxpayers to reduce what they owe to the state or increase their refund, the money is in our community, putting people to work, providing food boxes, helping the homeless and meeting a myriad of community needs.

The program is not new. It’s been around for years and was known in the past as the Working Poor Tax Credit. But now, the giving limits have increased and the deadline to donate has been expanded. Individuals and couples can take advantage of the tax credit, claiming the credit on their 2017 taxes, as long as they donate before April 15, 2018.

The really great thing about the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit is that it’s only one tool in the tax credit tool box. Individuals can give to a public school and claim the Public School Tax Credit. They can give to a Qualified Foster Care Organization, taking advantage of the Foster Care Tax Credit. And they can claim a Private School Tuition Tax Credit with a donation to a School Tuition Organization. You can take advantage of more than one tax credit, supporting education, charities and foster care organizations without having to choose.

In the spirit of collaboration, 20 local nonprofit organizations are working together to help increase awareness of the tax credits and to encourage individuals to direct their tax dollars to local qualified organizations.

Through the Flagstaff Tax Credit Coalition, individuals can make one AZ Charitable Tax Credit donation, and split their donation among 20 qualified organizations. The online giving portal is easy to navigate and secure, being managed by the Arizona Community Foundation. Donations can be made at www.flagstafftaxcredit.org. You can also learn about the other state tax credits and get your frequently asked questions answered.

Flagstaff is a generous and giving community. And we look out for each other. With the AZ Charitable Tax Credit, it’s easier than ever to leverage the money you would already spend on state taxes to keep families safe and secure in our community.

Devonna McLaughlin heads Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona, which is a member of the Flagstaff Tax Credit Coalition

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