A message from Commissioner Lesley Briones
This week, my colleagues and I unanimously passed the 2024 Harris County budget and tax rate. For the sixth year in a row, we are reducing the overall tax rate for Harris County taxpayers.
As part of the budget process—and for the first time ever—we held public budget town halls to learn about the priorities and investments you care about. Thank you to the many of you who attended in person and provided feedback online.
With your partnership, we crafted a $2.4 billion budget prioritizing the health and safety of the 4.7 million residents we serve in Harris County—the third largest county in the United States.
Our top priority will always be keeping our children and families safe. Our new budget invests a total of $1.5 billion in justice and safety — a $170 million increase over last year — to support law enforcement, provide our courts with the necessary resources to run effectively, and ensure a fairer criminal justice system. This is the largest investment in public safety in Harris County history and accounts for approximately 2/3 of the County budget.
This public safety investment includes a 12% raise for our detention officers to improve our jail. The 12% increase will help us recruit for open positions, plus help us retain the officers we currently have working in our jail— making our jail safer for all.
We are also investing $128 million in the Harris County Flood Control District — a $14 million increase over last year — to make our community stronger and more resilient in the face of severe storms.
Other key investments we are making to drive Harris County forward include:
- $2.2 million to expand the Holistic Assistance Response Team (HART), which deploys mental health services to divert and support those who do not belong in the criminal justice system, freeing up our law enforcement officers to focus on violent crime.
- $5.2 million more for Precinct 4 services including maintenance of our roads, bridges, and parks —for a total of $42.3 million for Precinct 4 and a total of $169 million for all four Harris County Precincts.
- $1.2 million to increase juror pay to enhance the quality of justice in our County.
- $3.7 million to support the launch of the six new criminal district courts which could expedite cases in the County.
- $750,000 to grow our Office of Sustainability to keep Harris County a global energy leader, preserve our environment, and support sustainable infrastructure.
As your County Commissioner, I am committed to being a good steward of your taxpayer dollars and to maximizing the impact of each tax dollar spent. This budget is a statement of our values and is a promise to keep all our families safe while promoting health and economic opportunity for all in Harris County.