Senate District 17
Bob Peterson
Peterson, Gavarone Introduce Bill to Help Ohioans Save for Their First Home
May 1, 2019
COLUMBUS—State Senators Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) yesterday introduced Senate Bill 139, also referred to as the “First-Time Home Buyer Savings Act."

The legislation will create a new type of savings account that future buyers can use for the purchase of their first home.

“Saving to purchase a first home can seem like a daunting task for many Ohioans, but an important one to achieve financial success,” Peterson said. "Homeownership is a goal and stepping stone for many who are working to achieve the American dream, and this bill will help more people make that dream a reality."

The law will first require a savings account be opened at any financial institution in the state. Once opened, the account holder(s) can begin contributing. Up to $5,000 for single tax filers and $10,000 for joint filers, plus accrued interest, will be tax deductible each year.

Modeled after legislation currently in law in a number of other states, the money deposited into the account can only be used for the down payment and allowable closing costs associated with the purchase of a home. The bill includes a 10% penalty, with some exceptions, including the death of the account holder, for money withdrawn for reasons besides the purchase of a home.

“With rising cost of rent and student loan debt, saving enough money for even a modest down payment is nearly impossible for many new home buyers,” Gavarone said. “Our legislation will give this, and future generations, a head start on saving enough money to make homeownership a reality instead of a dream.”

For the full video from yesterday's press conference, click here.
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