An unvarnished blog that dips into the past and comments
on the present of WBAI-FM, a once significant, intelligent New York
radio station that has chronically suffered abuse from within and now
nears extinction. Your comments are welcomed and will not be censored.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
As the books cook...
As I pointed out recently, there is an endless exchange of insults and accusations taking place on Nalini's PacificaRadiowaves list. It rages still and is as stagnant and downright boring as most of WBAI's program offerings. In the offing, an interest-free loan allegedly earmarked for payment of WBAI's delinquent payroll taxes. Or is it? Like everything else these amateurs get Pacifica into, there is internal suspicion-in this case, we are talking about a loan that might not be as interest free as touted. The interest being personal rather than financial, which actually means financial, but not in any way that might benefit WBAI or Pacifica. If you haven't already listened to it, I suggest that you use this link to access the audio excerpt from last week's meeting of the WBAI LSB Finance Committee.
The following two observations come from the dying BlueBoard, the first having been posted by R. Paul Martin (who can use his brain when he isn't engaged in frivolous censorship):
We have the below E-mail from faction operative, serial assailant and PNB Secretary Cerene Roberts.
At local Finance Committee meetings earlier this year the WBAI General Manager told us that the tax burden from the severance pay that was finally paid in March amounted to at most $90-95,000. This was the tax on approximately $140,000 in severance payments made to former Staff.
So with Pacifica taking out a loan for $156,000 that must mean that the current PNB is going to be looking to pay off something in the neighborhood of $60,000 in other tax obligations. Interesting that the description of the reason for this loan is only cited as being the WBAI payroll tax obligation. Has WBAI not been paying routine payroll tax obligations? If that's been the case then it hasn't been reported to the local Finance Committee, nor to the NFC. I'm going to have to ask Pacifica and WBAI Management, along with some Directors, about this stuff.
I wonder if anyone is actually expecting Pacifica to pay this loan off?
On a related topic, since Lydia Brazon is an employee of the person offering this loan then why was she allowed to vote on the motion?
Here is Indigo's response to Martin:
As you and others rightly pointed out at the lfb meeting an audio of which has been posted elsewhere, with accounts being a mad jumble of cash and accrual – which factor alone renders them completely useless – and there being no consistent chart of accounts, all numbers are imaginary numbers.
Further, it’s well established on the record that Reimers' numbers are particularly imaginary.
Pacifica’s cfo was unclear in his recent presentation with respect to the numbers, but he seemed to be either uncertain or waffling as to the components making up the amount of the loan said to be needed. He seemed, I think, to be attempting to mumblemunge something about the withholding for the severance per se and quite possibly other overdue employee withholdings.
A few board members at the most recent national meeting expressed their quite reasonable concern as to personal liability if the monies overdue weren't paid immediately – there was a very clear sense of urgency, if not panic.
There may, in fact, also be criminal liability.
As you know, the IRS takes a particularly intolerant view toward fucking with employees' taxes which are to be withheld. They are in all circumstances to be segregated from other funds, never used (not even temporarily) for any other purpose – people literally go to jail for those things, even temporary misallocation if it comes to light. They get very serious, very fast, and the jail time is nontrivial. Of course, it is in a nice, sweet federal low-security prison.
If you’re in any way doubtful, feel free to check with your accountant or attorney.
As for the loan being repaid: One way or another, it will be, if the lender wants the money repaid – you know that.
This is all also grounds for conspiracy charges, of course, but you know that, too, as that's ground WBAI/Pacifica have collectively trod for at least a few years now.
No one’s taken you down so far, so I’m sure it will all be fine
Here, supplied by Brian Edwards-Tiekert, is a payroll preview test with some details And here is a response/request from Tracy Rosenberg. of the opposing faction:
I don't think this sheet is credible.
According to the NY State Department of Labor, SDI (unemployment) taxes are only due in New York on the first $10,300 in salary. So why does this "practice run" allocate $14K in SUI taxes and another 13K in NY-ER? ? At least $100K of this salary is likely exempt from SDI and NY-ER taxes and I don't see any allocation for that.
The flat rate federal witholding rate for lump sum severance payments (supplementary wages) is 25%. 25% of $261,000 is $65,000, not $73,000
The figures on the severance pay due were not generated in March. They were presented to AFTRA in June and July of 2013 during the negotiations regarding the layoffs and a final number was settled upon and agreed to. That number was described at the time as approximately $230K, not $262K. The number would not have gone up. The employees worked no hours after July of 2013 so the severance payments due have not changed.
Can we get a list of the amounts due to each of the 19 employees, so someone can realistically check the numbers? .