Senate Approves Mensch Bill Creating First-Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts

Harrisburg –Legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) creating First-Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts in Pennsylvania was approved by the Senate today.

Senate Bill 1066 would permit eligible Pennsylvanians to open special savings accounts and take state tax deductions for savings toward expenses such as a down payment and closing costs.

“Home ownership strengthens communities and provides stability for families.  A first-time homebuyers saving account will be an important tool in helping people overcome the financial obstacles to home ownership,” Mensch said.

The bill would apply to first-time homebuyers and those who have not owned or purchased a home within the three years leading up to the purchase. Account holders would be permitted to contribute a total of $50,000 over a 10-year period. Annual contributions would be capped at $5,000 for single taxpayers and $10,000 for those filing a joint return.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the share of first-time homebuyers in the national home sale market fell from 45 percent to 32 percent, as a result of the 2009 financial crisis.

It is estimated that this type of savings account program in Pennsylvania could result in an annual increase of up to 4,000 home purchases within the state, Mensch said.  The result would be an overall positive impact on Pennsylvania’s economy, spurring additional economic activity, job creation and earnings for households. It’s estimated that the economic impact could range between $7.8 million to $68.8 million.

“The benefits of home ownership extend beyond the home and the buyer,” Mensch said. “Homeowners put down stakes and make a long-term commitment that strengthens the entire community. I encourage the House of Representatives to approve this bill before the end of session, and provide a fiscally responsible manner to help citizens purchase their first home.”

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/senatormensch, or Twitter @SenatorMensch

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko mfetzko@pasen.gov (717) 787-3110