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Senators Peterson and Gavarone Introduce Bill to Make Home Buying More Affordable


COLUMBUS—State Senators Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) this week introduced Senate Bill 24, 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. 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.


“I believe it is important to help Ohioans save to purchase their first home, starting them on a path of financial success,” Peterson said. "This bill will help give our future generations, a head start on saving enough money to make homeownership a reality instead of a dream.”


Modeled after legislation currently in law in at least eight 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 The bill includes a 10% penalty, with some exceptions, including the death of the account holder, for money withdrawn for reasons besides the purchase of a home.