Senate Passes Mensch Bill to Allow for First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania State Senate passed legislation Monday authored by Senator Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) which would allow individuals to open first-time homebuyer savings account with a financial institution.

“Since the 2009 financial crisis, the number of first-time homebuyers has significantly decreased,” said Mensch.  “According to the National Association of Realtors, the share of first-time homebuyers in the national home sale market has fallen from 45% to just over 32%.”

Senate Bill 157 would allow individuals to open an account of up to $150,000 for the sole purpose of purchasing a first home with a financial institution of their choice.  Funds from a first-time home buyer savings account may only be used to pay or reimburse the eligible costs for the purchase of a single-family home in this Pennsylvania.

Individuals taking advantage of a first-time homebuyers savings account will be able to deduct up to $5,000 on their individual taxes, or up to $10,000 for a joint account.  The tax deduction can be for no longer than 10 years, and may not exceed $50,000 within a ten-year period.  Unused funds would be counted against an individual’s taxable income.

“For many, the ability to own a home is still part of the American Dream,” said Mensch.  “Creating this program like so many other states in the country allows Pennsylvanians to make a conscious effort to save money to achieve that dream, and further allows that dream to continue in the beautiful Keystone State.”

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration for the second straight legislative session.


CONTACT: David Kozak    717-787-3110

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