Al Taubenberger is a Republican At-Large member of Philadelphia City Council who was first elected in 2016. A longtime resident of Northeast Philadelphia, Al has carried the Republican banner high and proudly throughout his life and was the Republican nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia in 2007.
Prior to his emergence into Philadelphia politics, Al served as President of the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce for many years. His experience heading the chamber and his prior experience as an entrepreneurial businessman have given him a wealth of knowledge that has served the city and his constituents well. Today, Al is one of City Council’s most recognized business experts who has worked to help attract and retain businesses and has also led the fight on holding the line on taxes.
Although he’s a loyal member of the Republican Party, Al is a Moderate who believes in working across the political aisle to get things done for the city he loves. He knows partisan politics leads only to gridlock. Al believes in a spirit of cooperation to avoid partisan bickering in order to move the city forward and improve the lives of all Philadelphians, regardless of their race, faith, gender, creed or political affiliation. He is somewhat of a rarity in this political day and age – a pragmatic, pro-union Republican City Councilman.
Al’s Republican values are apparent in his voting record during his first term on Council. For example, he was and remains strongly opposed to the Soda Tax. It is a regressive, costly tax that is widely reviled by most Philadelphians and it’s caused financial pain for supermarkets, corner grocers, restaurants and families. It also has significantly under-delivered on projected tax revenues. Al believes the Soda Tax should be repealed.
He has also fought to reduce the city’s burdensome business and personal tax rates that continue to be a major impediment to business and population growth.
On the business front, Al sponsored legislation that eliminated the estimated Business Privilege Tax payments currently required of new businesses filing tax returns for their first year of business operations. Under the previous tax law, the Revenue Department instructed new start ups filing their first year city tax returns to pay their current Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT), along with a one-year estimated BIRT at the same time. The new law requires start up businesses to pay only the current city BIRT tax. Also, businesses with seasonal cash flow issues have the option of paying quarterly instead of paying in full each April 15th. It gives start-ups a chance to get their financial footing under them.
Al is also deeply concerned about the current property tax assessments, which are pricing people out of their homes. The truth is that the Office of Property Assessments has been using flawed data that’s led to badly flawed assessments. Al and others on City Council are pushing the Kenney Administration for a complete overhaul of the office. He encourages anyone who believes that their most recent property assessment and tax bill are out of line to complete a written appeal. You can find it on www.phila.gov under “Appeals”. There also are taxpayer relief programs available to you that can be found on the same site.
Instead of constantly talking about raising taxes, Al feels strongly that city government should focus more on finding ways to reduce government overhead, waste and duplication in order to save money. He knows we’ll never tax our way out of all the fiscal challenges the city faces.
Al remains strongly committed to law and order and places a strong emphasis on public safety, which is why he has once again earned the endorsements of the city’s Police and Firefighters Unions.
Al wants to make Philadelphia more business-friendly by reducing business taxes and eliminating bureaucratic red tape. He wants more cops on our street corners and more firefighters and paramedics on-call 24/7. He wants our current District Attorney to lock up bad guys instead of figuring out loopholes to set them free. He wants to improve the lives of every citizen in Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, November 5th, send Al Taubenberger back to City Council to continue working – for you!