The Montgomery County Emergency Service District No. 2 board approved a 20% homestead tax exemption March 24 for all residents in the district. According to a news release May 11, the board kept the $25,000 exemption for residents age 65 years age or older and the $25,000 disability exemption for 2023.

A homestead exemption reduces the home value on which taxpayers pay property tax.

ESD 2 fire Chief Brian Edwards said the district is one of two emergency service districts in Montgomery County to vote in favor of a homestead exemption.

“The board sees the increased needs for emergency services of the district and the need to grow with the area, but also knows the needs to provide some tax breaks for the citizens,” Edwards said in the release. “The board of ESD 2 and the fire department administration look forward to the many challenges that the increased needs of the area and growth of the area provide.”

In November, Community Impact previously reported that emergency service districts and fire departments in Montgomery County were growing rapidly. To keep up with the growth in ESD 2, a new $3 million station broke ground in March 2022 in Walden. According to the same report, the station is set to be finished in July.

In March, ESD 2 also received two new tankers to provide more water to its rural areas. According to previous Community Impact reporting, the purchase helped save homeowners over 40% on insurance rates this year. Edwards said the board and fire administration will continue to look at options to provide quality services while being transparent with tax dollars.

ESD 2's fire department serves 230 square miles in northwest Montgomery County from the Grimes County line to the west and Walker County to the north. The district provides fire protection, rescue, EMS first response and fire prevention.