Update Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.

With Commissioners Tom Ramsey and Jack Cagle still absent for the second court meeting Oct. 25, no vote could be held to adopt tax rates for the Harris County Flood Control District and the Harris Health System.

The tax rates for both will automatically revert to their respective no-new-revenue rates. On Sept. 6, Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and CEO of Harris Health, said the district would face a $45 million deficit under the no-new-revenue rate.

"Just remember when your flood control project is downsized [and] when your hospital wait times get longer, you know who to thank for that," Judge Lina Hidalgo said during the meeting.

Dozens of speakers came to the meeting to speak for and against the proposed rates. In a statement, Ramsey said his absence saved residents from paying an additional $250 million in taxes, referring the amount of revenue that would have been brought in had the four proposed tax rates passed.

"Our constituents have been victims of wasteful spending for four years," Ramsey said. "I am proud to have done my part in protecting our residents from the reckless management of their money."

Original story, Oct. 25, 2:34 p.m.

Harris County commissioners could not vote on the tax rate for the county and the Port of Houston Authority during the first of two court meetings Oct. 25, leaving the county’s budget $112 million smaller than proposed.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle did not show for the sixth consecutive meeting—five of which had opportunities for a tax rate vote—denying the court the quorum necessary to hold a vote to adopt the proposed tax rate.

“The real victims are the residents of Harris County, especially those residents in Precincts 3 and 4 who don’t have representation right now from their commissioners,” County Judge Hidalgo said of her colleagues’ absences. “The saddest thing is I think that they know that by being absent, they’re hurting their own residents that they pledged to represent.”

Under the no-new-revenue rate, the county’s property tax-generated revenue is capped to the same amount as the previous year plus revenue from new construction and minus any increases in debt, according to Budget Director Daniel Ramos. Commissioners approved a $2.13 billion fiscal year 2022-23 budget based on the no-new-revenue rate Sept. 13 to be ready for the start of the fiscal year Oct. 1, but the final opportunity to vote on the tax rates was during the Oct. 25 meeting.

In a statement, Cagle said the day was “a very good day for the taxpayers of Harris County.”

“By voting with our feet, Commissioner Tom S. Ramsey and I were able to stop the $257 million tax increase favored by the court majority,” Cagle said. “We can return to a fiscally sound system of providing the basic services that taxpayers expect—public safety, flood protection, parks and constituent service.”

The second meeting of Commissioners Court on Oct. 25 will offer the final opportunity to vote on the other two tax rates for the Harris County Flood Control District and the Harris Health System, and it could draw a large number of law enforcement officials due to the agenda item posted by District Attorney Kim Ogg discussing the funding of her office and the constables’ offices.