Frequently asked tax credit questions

What is a tax credit? 

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the actual tax owed. For example, if you owe $800 in state income taxes and you donate $400 to a public school for extracurricular activities, you may subtract the $400 from your tax bill and pay the state just $400. Please note: ECA donations are not refundable.

What is an extracurricular activity?

Extracurricular activity means any optional, noncredit educational or recreational activity that supplements the education program of the school. Activities such as sports, visual and performing arts, special programs, character building, field trips, clubs, outdoor education, gifted programs or classroom enrichment programs can be funded with tax credit money.

Extracurricular activities help children develop qualities such as leadership, team play and cooperation. They also provide safe, supervised activities after school hours.

Who is eligible?

This tax credit is available to all individual Arizona taxpayers whether they have children in school or not. An individual can contribute and receive a tax credit for any amount up to $200, or a couple filing jointly may contribute up to $400.

Does all of my money go to extracurricular activities?

Yes, 100 percent of your donation goes directly to the schools for extracurricular activities that benefit students by enriching campus life and learning. None of the money is used for overhead.

May I designate where I want my money to go?

Yes, you may say where you want your donation to go. If you have a child in school, you may donate to the activity in which he or she participates. You may choose a school based on student poverty, type of activity, grade levels or location. You may choose a school where not all parents can afford to contribute.

We will make every effort to ensure that your donation is used for the activity you specify. However, in the unlikely event that an activity is cancelled or receives more funding than is needed, the school will use your donation for another worthwhile activity that directly benefits students. If no activity is listed, the School Improvement Advisory Council will determine the extracurricular activity of greatest benefit. Be assured that your donation will not fund recreational, amusement or tourist side trips.

Do I have to donate the full $200 or $400?

No, you may donate up to your $200 or $400 limit in installments during the calendar year or donate it at one time. Any individual who pays Arizona State income tax can donate; you do not need to live in the Mesa Public Schools district.

How can I make a contribution?

Tax Credit Contribution Form: Print the contribution form and mail it to the address listed on the form.

Online Tax Credit Contribution: You may also make a tax credit contribution online. The link will take you to a secure payment site.

If you have questions regarding your tax credit donation, please call 480-472-0133.

Drop-off location

Drop off a completed contribution form, including your credit card information or your check, at the Mesa Public Schools dropbox, located on the first floor of the First Fidelity Bank Building, 63 E. Main Street, between Mesa Drive and Country Club Drive, just east of the Mesa Arts Center.

Offices are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays