JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – First-time home buyers might be getting some help in securing a house.
A measure passed by the Senate on Thursday looks to create a home buying savings program that could potentially put a little extra money in buyers’ pockets. HB 1796, sponsored by Rep. Becky Ruth and Sen. Caleb Rowden, would create an interest-bearing savings account to be used for home purchases.
Under the bill, interest accrued on the savings accounts would be tax-free, just as long as the money is spent on a home purchase. And buyers would get a tax deduction once they’ve closed on the home.
Missourians could set aside money in the savings account, deducting state taxes on half of the contributions made. The funds could be used for a down payment, closing costs and other fees.
Ruth, who is a real estate agent, has stated that the changes could provide aid for many first time homebuyers, including millennials beginning their careers with student debt and limited savings.
But the Senate did not allow the bill to leave their chambers unaltered. While it still deals with the first-time homebuyer tax deduction, other benevolent tax credit language has been removed. In addition to that, an amendment from Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal now includes language that requires people to be notified regarding hazardous materials.
The new substitute version of the bill passed with a 29-4 vote Thursday at noon. If the changes are accepted by the House, the savings plans would become available January 1, 2019.
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.