I pounded on this one today and I think you found a limitation of the software. It appears that the View Reference tag works only in views that have dependents.
My temporary workaround would be to fashion an Annotation Symbol family that looks exactly like the View Reference tag and manually enter values. It isn’t coordinated but, will provide you with what you are looking for.
I have created and attached a Manual View Reference Symbol that looks like the actual View Reference tag.
Below, I highlighted the two views and the two annotation families I used. The View Reference – Man tag can be added with the Symbol tool on the Detail panel of the Annotate tab in the Ribbon.