City Punked Again:
City Touts Pixar's Revenue As Animation Giant Outsources Receipts To Burbank
As part of an attempt to gin up support for Emeryville's flagging Redevelopment Agency and carry water for Pixar, the city's e-newsletter website recently listed Pixar as a "major" source of sales tax revenue for the city, however at least one council member asserts Pixar claims that it outsourced its sales and ultimately paid only $8000 in taxes to the city last year.
In the wake of the much ballyhooed looming February 1st dissolution of redevelopment agencies state-wide and the flood of negative publicity about what redevelopment has wrought over the years, Emeryville's City Hall has gone on the offensive trying to seize the narrative that the Redevelopment Agency here has been a great source of good, but the city's claims in its January e-newsletter have run headlong into countervailing public reports about Pixar from council member Kurt Brinkman in an August 2011 interview with the Tattler.
Emeryville's website features a new page highlighting the record of redevelopment in Emeryville and Pixar is listed as a "major" economic redevelopment project that has produced "dramatic results". Pixar shares top billing in revenue with six other taxpayer funded redevelopment projects that has contributed $25 million to the General Fund according to the city.
Councilman Brinkman complained in the Tattler interview that Pixar has switched its gross receipts accounting to Burbank California, the headquarters for parent company Walt Disney after the city started talking about removing its controversial business tax cap last year, thereby making Pixar's massive profits out-of-bounds for Emeryville. Mr Brinkman used the clever accounting move by Pixar as reason to not remove the cap. Council member Brinkman reasons that if the cap is in place then Pixar will be encouraged to accurately report sales in Emeryville and the city will collect more in taxes, an eventuality that has not come to pass.
Emeryville seems to like abuse and
Pixar seems to like giving it.
Maybe Pixar and Emeryville
should get a room.
The cap, unprecedented in the Bay Area, formerly limited the taxes for Pixar and other corporations doing business here at $117,000. Emeryville voters raised the cap last November to $300,000, but it's not expected to effect Pixar after the outsourcing maneuver. The cap, even at the new raised level forces small business to pay a much higher rate than the largest businesses.
In addition to outsourcing its gross receipts, Pixar lead a successful campaign to lower its assessed property tax, netting them a $108,000 refund last year.