Joseph “Joe” Pitre, the only candidate for House District 40 to respond to questions for this story, said the state should explore toll roads and revisions to its tax structure as ways to boost the economy and the state’s coffers.
Pitre is challenging incumbent Ledricka Johnson Thierry, the attorney who won the district seat in a 2009 special election. Thierry requested that the questions for this story be sent to her personal email account, but she failed to respond to repeated email and cellphone messages for her responses.
Pitre, meanwhile, said he’d consider eliminating state income tax as a way to attract new industry.
“We need to let prospective employers know that Louisiana is going to be a friendly state for economic development,” he said.
Whether the Legislature takes up the income-tax issue or not, Pitre said, a simplification of the state’s tax structure is in order.
“I think the tax structure and the breaks are geared more toward larger corporations as opposed to small business,” he said.
“We need to reward companies that are small, that can actually grow, without taxing them in the same way we do larger corporations.”
Pitre said he is opposed to tax increases, but would support fee increases only if there is a related incentive or added service produced by the fee.
He said he’d also favor the development of toll roads as a way to generate new revenues.
Pitre said he views investments in education as an avenue to ensure a healthy economy and to help pull the poor out of a cycle of poverty.
“Without a trained workforce, there’s no way we’re going to recruit businesses,” he said.
He said he also favors raising the minimum income eligibility requirements for Medicaid, noting that the current income threshold is too low.
“It certainly does not allow or motivate people to want to have two household incomes,” he said.
Within District 40, the greatest need right now is leadership, Pitre said.
He said he’d like to form small workgroups within the district to address issues.
“The district is not organized,” he said.
“There’s no plan in terms of how we’re going to address poverty, economic development or anything else.”
JOSEPH ‘JOE’ PITRE
56, mayor of Washington, information technology
instructor at Acadiana Technical College, Lafayette campus.
EDUCATION: B.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette; M.Ed., Southern University.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Mayor of Washington since 2003.
LEDRICKA JOHNSON THIERRY
Lawyer, (age unavailable).
EDUCATION: J.D., Southern University Law Center.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative since 2009.
WHERE TO VOTE
Ward/Precinct and location
St. Landry Parish
1-1 North Elementary
1-2 St. Landry Public Service Center
1-2A St. Landry Public Service Center
1-3 Christ the King Cateteria
1-3A Christ the King Cateteria
1-4 Opelousas Fire Substation No. 3
1-4A Opelousas Fire Substation No. 3
1-5 Northwest High
1-7 North Elementary
1-08 Opelousas Junior High
1-9 South Street Elementary
1-10 Park Vista Elementary
1-10A Park Vista Elementary
1-11 CASA/Veterans Building
1-12 New Central Fire Station
1-13 Opelousas Junior High
1-14 Grolee Street Elementary
1-14A Grolee Street Elementary
1-15 Pupil Appraisal Center
1-15A Pupil Appraisal Center
1-16 Louis Butler Sr. Community Center
1-18 East Junior High
1-19 Fire District No. 3 Substation
1-20 Louis Butler Sr. Community Center
1-21 Grolee Street Elementary
1-22 Southwest Neighborhood Service Center
1-23 Southwest Elementary
1-24 Northwest Elementary
1-25 Williams Insurance Company
1-29 Southwest Elementary
2-1 Grand Coteau Fire Hall
2-2 Cankton Village Hall
2-2A Cankton Village Hall
2-4Y Sunset Elementary
2-4Z Sunset Elementary
2-5 Sunset Fire Hall
2-5A Sunset Fire Hall
2-5B Sunset Fire Hall
2-6 Cankton Village Hall
2-9 Christ the King Cateteria
4-10 North Central High
5-1 Beggs Fire District No. 3 Substation
5-3 Plaisance Elementary
5-5 Washington Town Hall
5-6 Washington Elementary
5-8 Washington Fire Hall
6-3 Lawtell Elementary
6-03A Lawtell Elementary
6-11 Lawtell Elementary
6-11A Lawtell Elementary
6-11B Lawtell Elementary