PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Former County Council President and Democratic nominee for county executive, Rich Fitzgerald, kicked off his fall campaign Tuesday.

Fitzgerald is facing off against Republican D. Raja.

Eight weeks from today, Allegheny County voters will choose their next county executive.

Raja has already delivered a number of policy statements at press conferences and town meetings.

Today, it was Fitzgerald’s turn and the tone was all positive.

Saying he had a record of reform and fiscal responsibility, Fitzgerald noted that he wrote the law creating the Homestead Exemption of Homeowners.

“The Homestead Exemption gives $15,000 off of your county assessment dollars. So, for example, if you live in a $50,000 home, that’s assessed at $50,000, you get a 30 percent discount. It’s a significant discount,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald opposes the court-ordered reassessment of property.

“We’re going to continue to oppose the reassessment because what a reassessment will do is that it will raise taxes, particularly school taxes,” Fitzgerald said.

Citing Gov. Tom Corbett’s transportation commission, the Democrat said this region needs a regional, not a county, transit authority that includes the surrounding counties.

“He encourages consolidation of county transit agencies as a way to save money, and I agree with the Governor’s commission on that. I think they’re heading in the right direction,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said more than a quarter of downtown and Oakland workers live outside Allegheny County.

Fitzgerald used today’s event to say he will fight hard for senior citizens, pointing out that seniors and retirees on fixed incomes get hardest hit from property taxes.


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