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Better Jobs from Manufacturing, Distribution than Retail

The current mindset in Alameda City Hall seems to be focused on bringing nothing but retail stores to Alameda Point, and thousands of people and homes as well to make the retail viable, in an attempt to shore up declining sales tax revenue resulting from the impending loss of the automobile dealers on park street. As we’ve reported earlier, this will prove futile – Alameda just won’t be able to attract enough retail and shoppers to make up for sales tax lost from the auto dealers. However, business-to-business sales tax revenue, which grows exponentially with population growth, not straight-line, as does sales tax revenue, might be able to make up the loss. And attracting businesses to Alameda Point also provides for a wider range of jobs at different income levels, including higher income levels – people that earn more also spend more.

Consider this salary survey for the retail industry:

2006 census estimates reported the median household income for Alameda at $67,551 per year. None of the jobs listed on the retail survey indicate a salary above the median income for Alameda, and only one job, “District Manager, Retail,” indicates a salary that approaches the median income level.

Now consider the survey for the manufacturing and distribution sector – the sector that covers companies that can generate business-to-business sales tax revenue:

Three jobs listed – Controller, Information Technology Manager and General/Operations Manager – have salaries that exceed Alameda’s median income. A fourth, Operations Manager, lists a salary that approaches the median income. Clearly, we should focus on bringing manufacturing and distribution jobs to Alameda Point. With those jobs come the type of companies that may generate business-to-business sales tax revenue for Alameda. And it doesn’t mean we have to forego retail sales tax revenue either – a certain amount of retail will follow to support those businesses and workers.

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