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Alameda Cineplex, Parking Garage Still Not Driving Significant Sales Tax

Alameda residents are still waiting for the cineplex and parking garage to be the promised boosters of sales tax revenue for the city treasury.

Alameda residents are still waiting for the cineplex and parking garage to be the promised boosters of sales tax revenue for the city treasury.

Five years in, the Alameda Cineplex and Parking Garage, which were billed as sales tax revenue drivers for the city, are still not a tremendous boon to city coffers boosters once promised.

For the quarter ended June 30th, 2013, the Park Street – South of Lincoln district, home to the cineplex and parking garage, garnered a 12 percent share of total sales tax revenue in the city, consistent with the district’s share prior to the opening of the venues.

The South Shore Center and Harbor Bay Business Park districts continue to command the largest share of sales tax generation, at 22 percent each.

Overall, taxable sales in Alameda generated $1.6 million in sales tax for the city.

The Business & Industry category racked up 30 percent of the total sales tax, followed by transportation and fuel, clocking in with 20 percent.

The top 25 businesses in Alameda represent approximately 51%, or $858,941, of the quarter’s sales transactions.

Sales tax is the fourth largest source of General Fund revenue, comprising 7.57 percent of budgeted revenues for Fiscal Year 2013 to 2014.

2 comments to Alameda Cineplex, Parking Garage Still Not Driving Significant Sales Tax

  • Jeff Paterson

    Yet there is little doubt that the Alameda Cineplex and Parking Garage are a “tremendous boon” to the vitality of historic Alameda, even if that benefit is not easily seen in a tax revenue spreadsheet. In a nation where large shopping malls (and Walmart, etc.) have contributed to the death of downtown community epicenters, Park Street is something worth fostering.

  • Jeff – the point is that then-city leaders and project boosters justified the expense and tax subsidy of the project based on financial returns that have not materialized. The lesson is that residents and taxpayers should look with a critical eye at future projects and future claims of economic benefits, all the tax revenue it will bring, etc.

    An example of a fundamental oversight regarding this project is that movie tickets are not subject to sales tax.

    If the value is an intangible “vitality of historic Alameda” then that’s how the project should be sold, not based on ill-founded financial claims that are proving to be false.

    Indeed, many of these redevelopment projects are fundamentally flawed on an economic basis, which is the reason they need government subsidies. If it’s a profitable project, private enterprise would need no tax subsidy. Why not just be honest with voters – if you want it, you have to pay for it – instead of spinning yarns about all the supposed financial benefits?

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