Josh Ruggiero is the owner of six Ace Hardware stores around the valley. He is also a corporate partner of Catholic Education Arizona.
When Josh took over the family business from his uncle, the corporate tax credit relationship with CEA was already in place. Josh didn’t know what it was all about, but he set out to learn. As a supporter of the Individual Tax Credit program previously, Josh knew about the opportunities in Arizona for taxpayers to be able to turn tax dollars into scholarships for students. However, while the Individual Tax Credit program has limitations on what contributors can give, he learned that corporations can give up to 100% of their state tax liability to a school tuition organization and turn it into scholarships for low income students.
Josh has also supported CEA in the past when he was an employee at Intel. He shared, “I was happy to be able to take advantage of their corporate matching program when I would donate to CEA.” Intel, as well as many businesses throughout Arizona participate in the employee match program to enhance the philanthropy of their employees.
Josh grew up going to public school going to Kyrene School District schools and comes from a long line of public school educators. Then, he met his wife at St. Timothy’s one Sunday morning and that changed his perspective on private/Catholic school altogether. His wife, Beth, a product of 12 years of Catholic education, was a Catholic School teacher, teaching 9th grade English at Seton. Her mother was also a Catholic school teacher, having taught at Christ the King for many, many years.
What Josh came to realize after many conversations with Beth was “public education in the 80’s and 90’s just isn’t the same in 2020. And, instead of it being a “private” education, I’ve changed my mindset to understand what it means to receive a “Catholic” education – and that has made all the difference.”
Josh has always been concerned about how to fund the Catholic education experience that he and Beth want for their four kids. He quipped, “Life has a funny way of springing emergency expenses on you when you are least prepared for them. I have been very supportive of the tax credits available to individuals. When I learned there were tax credits available to businesses, it was truly a no-brainer for our organization.”
Josh has learned how to help families afford Catholic education through his own contributions to the Individual and Corporate Low Income Tax Credit programs. When his first born went to kindergarten in 2018, he took advantage of one of the state Tax Credit scholarships to help reduce the burden of cost and ease the barrier of entry.
To learn how you can be like Josh and contribute to the Individual and Corporate Tax Credit programs, visit www.ceaz.org or call 602 218-6542.