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 The bill includes a 10% penalty, with some exceptions, including the death of the account holder, for money withdrawn for reasons besides the purchase of a home.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