Gavarone, Peterson introduce bill to make home buying more affordable

COLUMBUS — State Senators Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, and Bob Peterson, R-Washington Court House,
today 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.
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.
“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.”

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for money withdrawn for reasons besides the purchase of a home.
“I believe it is important to help Ohioans save to purchase their first home, starting them on a path of
financial success,” Peterson said.