Arizona taxpayers can hit the Legislature in their own pocket book. Individually, Arizona taxpayers can reallocate money from the state’s general fund and give it to children in foster care through the Foster Care Charitable Organization Tax Credit. This tax credit costs individual tax payers zero, and funnels money to our state’s most vulnerable children. A donation to a qualified foster care charity and the donor receives a dollar-for-dollar credit on their Arizona income tax — up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples, with a net cost of zero.

With the all the complex issues surrounding our state’s ability to take care of abandoned, neglected and abused children, the taxpayers have an opportunity to vote with the Legislatures’ pocket book by self-directing some of their tax dollars to help children in foster care, receive the care and attention they deserve.

Personally I would like so many Arizona taxpayers to participate in this credit that it forces the Legislature to repeal it and address the real issues with foster care in Arizona. Imagine if tens of thousands of taxpayers took the initiative to reallocate general fund monies — what a positive impact it will have on our foster care system. Not to mention the message it would send to our representatives to quit shaking their heads in disgust and force action on a decades old issue. A list of qualifying foster care organizations and more information on the foster care tax credit can be found at www.azdor.gov, click on the “Tax Credit” tab.

Money talks, and here is a way for taxpayers to make really make our voices heard.

Tamera Shanker

Board, scholarship program chair of Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation

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