Howard Treatman is basing his bid for Philadelphia City Council on thinking big.
The Germantown resident, running for an open 8th District seat, says he loves the city, but thinks it could be doing even better.
In particular, Treatman wants to overhaul the city’s tax structure. He said it’s been holding back the city for years.
“Grow the pie,” he told NewsWorks. “We need to get out of taxing income and taxing business income. That’s not sustainable,” Treatman said.
Shaking up the tax structure, he said, could help re-populate the city and create a vibrant economy by making the city more attractive to businesses.
In the 8th District, Treatman says the overhaul could help make each neighborhood as attractive to potential businesses as the next.
“It has the city’s most desirable neighborhood and the remnants of what was once the Workshop of the World,” he said. “How can Chestnut Hill be so desirable and then you go to the other end of the district and find properties that have been nearly worthless for the past 60 years,” he added.
To accomplish this goal, Treatman will use his experience as both a community leader and businessman.
Treatman is the immediate past president of the Germantown Jewish Centre. He also sits on the board of Mt. Airy USA, a CDC working to revitalize Mt. Airy’s commercial areas. And he’ll soon be joining the board of the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement.
Treatman is also the co-founder of the real estate investment firm Harvest Equities in Center City.
Though certainly ambitious, Treatman is optimistic about achieving his goals. In his work, he said, he’s seen thriving and dying cities. Philadelphia is doing neither, he emphasized, which leaves room for opportunity.
Treatman is one of ten candidates vying to emerge as the 8th District’s Democratic nominee on May 17. The winner will face candidates from other party candidates in the November General Election.
Incumbent democrat Donna Reed Miller recently announced she will not seek re-election after 16 years on the job.
Dave Scholnick, Treatman’s campaign manager, says a campaign office will be opened later this week at 7151 Germantown Ave. (2nd floor), and a website should be up soon.