Harris County commissioners to vote on final county tax rates Oct. 5

On Sept. 28, Harris County Administrator David Berry presents information to the Harris County Commissioners' Court after a public hearing on the fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate. (Screenshot via Zoom)
On Sept. 28, Harris County Administrator David Berry presents information to the Harris County Commissioners' Court after a public hearing on the fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate. (Screenshot via Zoom)

On Sept. 28, Harris County Administrator David Berry presents information to the Harris County Commissioners' Court after a public hearing on the fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate. (Screenshot via Zoom)

Updated Sept. 28 at 10:36 a.m.

After holding a public hearing on Sept. 28, Harris County commissioners voted unanimously to consider the county's tax rates for fiscal year 2021-22 at a special meeting Oct. 5. No speakers signed up for public comment at the Sept. 28 hearing.

The proposed overall tax rate for Harris County is $0.58135 per $100 valuation, which includes individual tax rates for Harris County, the Harris Health System, the Harris County Flood Control District and the Port of Houston Authority.

As of press time Sept. 28, a time had not yet been set for the Oct. 5 meeting. The next regular commissioners court meeting will be held Oct. 12 at 10 a.m.

Posted Sept. 22 at 2:02 p.m.



On average, Harris County homeowners may see lower tax rates in the next year, but it will come at the cost of $17 million in funding for the county’s hospital district, according to Harris County Administrator David Berry.

At a Sept. 21 public hearing, Harris County Commissioners voted unanimously to propose a $0.58135 overall total county tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year, down from the county's overall fiscal year 2020-21 rate of $0.59920.

However, the proposed total tax rate for the Harris County Hospital District, or Harris Health System, is $0.16221. This rate would provide less funding for the hospital district in the upcoming fiscal year than commissioners budgeted for earlier this year, Berry said.

“You’re deep in hell to be poor in terms of health care, in Harris County,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said. “Although I know, for homeowners, they will appreciate the [tax reduction] ... those people who rent, which unfortunately is far too many here, won’t get this. ... For those who are homeless, we have to find that money somewhere. They have tremendous unmet needs.”

While Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle and Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey voted against the previously proposed tax rates at the Sept. 14 Commissioners Court meeting, the commissioners accepted the new proposal Sept. 21 as a compromise.

“If you are a homeowner, with a $100,000 home, and last year you paid $599.20, with this proposal ... you’ll pay $581.35,” Cagle said. “In other words, your bill will not go up. ... You will pay less in your taxes, on average. Some homes will be a little bit different because of where they were in the [appraisal district zone], and some homes will be a little bit less.”

Cutting the tax rates could impede the care the Harris Health System provides for 300,000 county residents annually, Harris Health System President Dr. Esmaeil Porsa said. The system includes two full-service hospitals, 18 community health centers and five school-based clinics, according to the hospital district's website.

“While [Harris Health System’s hospitals] comprise only 6.6% of all hospital beds in Harris County, we provide over 16% of all Harris County's Medicaid admissions and more than 21% of all uninsured admissions in Harris County,” Porsa said. “I'm asking for your support for an appropriate tax rate for the hospital district, so that we can continue to meet our ongoing obligations to the residents of Harris County.”

However, not all who spoke at the Sept. 21 public hearing hearing were supportive of higher tax rates.

“It doesn't really make much sense to me why you want to raise our taxes when we're in the middle of inflation,” Houston resident Merissa Hansen said. “Where are you getting the numbers that these hospitals need help when they're firing their own nurses and medical professionals because they refuse to take the [COVID-19] vaccine?”

Another public hearing will be held for locals to discuss all of the proposed tax rates on Sept. 28, the same day as the commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting. As of press time Sept. 22, a date had not been set for when commissioners will vote to adopt a set of tax rates, but they must do so before Oct. 15, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

By Emily Lincke

Reporter, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Emily joined Community Impact Newspaper in August 2021 after working for a small town newspaper in El Campo, TX for two years. Before that, she interned and freelanced for the Houston Chronicle and worked as a freelance photographer and writer in the Houston area. A controversial fact about Emily is that she prefers sugar cookies over chocolate chip cookies. She graduated with a print journalism degree from the University of Houston in 2018.



MOST RECENT

Heather Lagrone, Adrienne Holloway, Luis Guajardo, Maya Ford and Charleen Jones sit onstage while Holloway introduces the audience to the Harris County Housing Needs Assessment study on Oct. 19. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute housing survey results reveal Harris County's needs

To meet the need for additional, more affordable housing for only 20% of the 500,000 cost-burdened residents, 8,174 housing units would need to be added annually through 2031, according to the study.

There are a number of ways to enjoy fall in Spring and Klein, whether checking out a family-friendly festival, facing fears at a spooky haunted house or getting out into nature to enjoy the weather. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here's your 2021 guide to fall activities in the Spring and Klein area

There are a number of ways to enjoy fall in Spring and Klein, whether checking out a family-friendly festival, facing fears at a spooky haunted house or getting out into nature to enjoy the weather.

The Mustang Club of Houston will be hosting its annual Fall Open Car Show on Oct. 16. (Courtesy Mustang Club of Houston)
Play golf, shop for Christmas gifts: 9 things to do in Spring and Klein throughout October, November

Here are a few events and things to do in the Spring and Klein area throughout the months of October and November. This list is not comprehensive.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Huberty will retire at the end of his fifth term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he introduced bills focused on public education reform. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kingwood Rep. Dan Huberty announces retirement after 10 years

Huberty will retire at the end of his fifth term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he introduced bills focused on public education reform.

Harris County Commissioners Court's revised redistricting map as of Aug. 31. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Commissioners Court)
Harris County Commissioners Court to take public comments on redistricting Oct. 21

The meeting will be held at the Harris County Commissioners Court, located at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston, at 4 p.m.

Northampton Elementary School is led by Principal Lisa Campbell and had an enrollment of 620 students in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Klein ISD's Northampton Elementary School to celebrate 50th anniversary Oct. 19

According to KISD officials, the event is open to both past and present students, and it will feature refreshments and the opening of a 25-year-old time capsule.

Kinsmen Lutheran Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first service Oct. 17. (Courtesy Kinsmen Lutheran Church)
Kinsmen Lutheran Church begins 50-year anniversary celebrations Oct. 17

Celebrating 50 years since its founding, Kinsmen Lutheran Church kicked off months of celebrations to come with its Fall Festival on Oct. 17.

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: New H-E-B in Leander opening soon; Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 18.

In September, Prioritize & Organize opened offering decluttering services to customers in the Greater Houston area. (Courtesy Ashton Wilson)
Spring-based Prioritize & Organize now offering decluttering services across Greater Houston area

Prioritize & Organize, an organization and decluttering business based out of Spring, opened in September.

A new location for Jersey Mike's Subs will open in Spring on Oct. 20. (Courtesy Jersey Mike's)
Jersey Mike's Subs location coming to Kuykendahl Road in Spring

On Oct. 20, Jersey Mike’s Subs will open a new location at 20750 Kuykendahl Road in Spring.

Texas Medical Center: Coronavirus patient numbers drop 25% in one week, dip below 800

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center institutions has continued its decline.