After council withdraws tax proposal, Lafayette DA says no plans for his own tax request

Posted at 6:04 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 19:04:55-04

Fifteenth Judicial District Attorney Keith Stutes says he does not have immediate plans to ask for a tax to fund his Lafayette Parish office.

Last week, a Lafayette City-Parish Council funding committee withdrew a 2-mill property-tax proposal for Stutes’ office, citing the discovery of potential other funding sources for the operation.

The council tax proposition would have placed the measure on a fall ballot alongside two other tax-increase propositions to fund the parish court and jail. Those operations, as well as Stutes’ office, do not have dedicated funding, but they’re required to be funded by state mandate. There’s not enough parish money to adequately fund all three.

Louisiana’s District Attorneys are allowed to ask for their own taxes, Stutes said in a Tuesday interview with KATC. 

"It’s one possibility, but it’s not been really explored. And I certainly am not prepared at this point to proceed with my own tax," Stutes said.

Stutes said such a law has been enacted for decades, but few DAs have effectively put it to use. Meanwhile, he said he supports the fall tax measures for the court and jail. 

"If the tax passed, then it does give some relief to the parish fund, which certainly would be advantageous to satisfying my budget as well," Stutes said.