MARCH 7, 2012
Arizonans can help wildlife at tax time
Taxpayers can help conserve bald eagles, wolves, and tortoises, among others
PHOENIX — Did you know that your state taxes do not support the conservation of Arizona’s wildlife, but your donations do? Taxpayers can help the state’s wildlife at tax time by “making a mark” on their state income tax form.
The Arizona Wildlife Fund is a voluntary program that allows Arizona taxpayers to make a donation to help imperiled and endangered wildlife, including majestic bald eagles, black-footed ferrets, California condors, Apache trout, Mexican wolves and desert tortoises, among other nongame species.
“Since Game and Fish does not receive any general fund dollars, the Arizona Wildlife Fund provides important support for managing and conserving some of the state’s most iconic native species,” says Eric Gardner, nongame branch chief for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “The fund has a tremendous impact on conserving one of Arizona’s greatest natural treasures – its wildlife -- which provide a variety of low-cost recreational opportunities for residents to enjoy and real economic benefits to local communities.”
Arizona is one of 41 states that allow taxpayers to make a contribution to worthwhile causes. Since Arizona started the program more than 25 years ago, taxpayers have donated more than $5 million to the conservation of nongame animals. Nongame are wildlife species that are neither hunted nor fished in a traditional sense.
In 2011, the average donation was nearly $22.
The Arizona Wildlife Fund box can be found on line “44” of the state’s long income tax form, or line “40” of the short tax form.
For more information on the Arizona Wildlife Fund, visit www.azgfd.gov/makeamark. To learn more about the conservation and reintroduction efforts the fund supports, visit www.azgfd.gov/w_c/nongame_species.