No Property Tax and Blank General Ledgers


Berkeley-At Tuesday’s national finance committee me, board treasurer Chris Cory, a member of the UIR/Save KPFA group  and Anita Simms from NETA, the consulting firm with a $27,000/mo contract for outsourced accounting services, announced that they do not have current income totals for the October to December of 2019 period because KPFA has not provided revenue numbers. You can listen to a brief clip from the meeting audio here.  

In it, national treasurer Cory states: “There’s a few little discrepancies but the major thing that needs to be added to them is that we still don’t have the listener support numbers out of KPFA. So obviously that renders the statement pretty useless. I mean, I could throw the number in. I have a set of internal books that I’m working with. I’ve thrown that number in there just to see what it makes KPFA look like at the end of the year”. 

Simms from NETA adds: “The fact that the revenue, I understand that its not recorded in the general ledger. Maria does not yet have the breakdown of where that revenue has to go to, towards listener support or what have you”.

It should be fairly obvious to Pacifica members that there are all kinds of problems with not having revenue recorded for months after it comes in and in using “internal books” and “throwing in numbers”. 

KPFA’s now-seven year property tax default is being handled, at great expense, by the Southern California law firm of Alpert, Barr and Grant. The default began on February 15, 2013, when KPFA’s business manager did not file the annual property tax return that allows KPFA to receive a nonprofit discount on the taxes due to the Pacifica Foundation’s 501(c)3 status. KPFA did not pay the large property tax bill that resulted. This led to a notice of public auction and sale of the studio building at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way for seven years of unpaid property taxes. A certified letter sent to KPFA on January 17, 2020 from the Tax Collector’s office has disappeared into the ether. 

In comments to station staff and to the press, UIR members of KPFA’s station board and KPFA’s business manager have blamed the default on an involuntary name change forced on the Pacifica Foundation when a scam outfit registered the Pacifica Foundation name with the state. However, that is not the reason for the property tax default. 

The last filing made to the Alameda County Assessor was filed on February 15, 2012. The 2013 filing was due on February 15, 2013 and was not made. The filing at the Secretary of State of another Pacifica Foundation by the scam outfit occurred on February 26, 2013, or 11 days after the initial default. The Pacifica Foundation did not change its name until March 19, 2013 or 34 days after the property tax default. The failure to file and the initial property tax default on February 15, 2013 was not caused by the name change because the name change had not happened yet. Unless someone was in possession of a crystal ball, the two things were unrelated. 

In other news, Pacifica members should shortly get a ballot in the mail asking them to weigh in on a proposed substitute set of bylaws, created mostly by the UIR/Save KPFA group at KPFA. These anti-democratic and dangerous bylaws permanently consolidate control of the Pacifica stations with a small group of hand-picked people and their chosen successors, permanently marginalize the directors chosen by the members, ban station staff from participating in the running of the organization and gut existing financial conflict of interest provisions. They have been roundly rejected by all five station boards by a vote of 9-97. Mary Francis Berry would probably like them, but they represent a return to the kind of board Pacificans rejected in 1999 after KPFA was forcibly locked down with private security. You can read more about themhere. We firmly recommend a “NO” vote. Not the  sensible bylaws revision that is needed, and that has been delayed for so many years by some of the same former and current board members who put this lame new proposal together. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. 

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Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. Pacifica Foundation Radio operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-sponsored radio.


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