Harris County budget in jeopardy, time running out to adopt new one

Commissioners have until Oct. 28 to come to an agreement

HOUSTON – Harris County commissioners attended a special meeting on Monday to discuss the looming Oct. 28 deadline on whether the county’s tax rate will be raised.

“They keep saying that we are not running government well, but that is not true. It’s run as well as it ever has, even better,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said during the meeting.

But yet, the government is at a standstill in Harris County

“They promised to be here today,” Hidalgo said.

Commissioners Jack Cagle and fellow Republican Tom Ramsey have been absent for the past three scheduled votes on a proposed tax rate and was absent again Monday.

" I don’t know who told them that it would be politically expedient not to show up, but somebody did and that is a real shame,” Hidalgo said.

Cagle’s team said they had agreed to meet only for a discussion, but yet, the agenda for the special meeting clearly listed “possible action.”

Cagle claimed he opted out of the meeting after Ramsey announced he wasn’t attending.

“That is what these guys are doing, they want to create a campaign ad. They want to run an ad saying Harris County has been defunded,” Hidalgo said.

Cagle’s team said this is about the commissioner’s tax proposal, which calls for $257 million.

Hidalgo and Commissioner Rodney Ellis were critical for the two breaking quorum. However, when Democrats broke quorum in the House in 2021 and took off for Washington DC, both were in full support. In fact, Ellis even joined them.

“They are taking the people of this county and the voters of this county for fools,” Hidalgo said.

The deadline to adopt a new tax rate is Oct. 28.

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