REALTORS® Testify in Support of Senator Cyr's First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account Legislation
July 25, 2019 Government & Community Affairs
Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Committee Chair Amy Wallick testified this week to a state senate panel in support of Senator Julian Cyr’s first-time home buyer savings account legislation.
The bill, S.1628, is an act authorizing the establishment of first-time home buyer savings accounts that would act similar to the way health savings accounts do under tax law. The bill provides a state tax-assisted avenue for individuals, couples, or family members to contribute to the purchase of a home.
Specifically, the program created by this bill would allow future home buyers to deposit up to $5,000 per year ($10,000 for joint account holders who file a joint tax return) into a First Time Home Buyer Savings Account and then claim that contribution as a deduction on their income tax. Additionally, any gains on the savings would be exempt from taxes. Account holders can claim this deduction for up to 15 years and an aggregate total amount of principal and earnings up to $50,000.
First time home buyers face immense challenges. Student loan debt and housing affordability are regularly discussed as two of the most significant crises facing the state. Massachusetts ranks 47th in the country for housing affordability.
Senator Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, made this one of the first bills he filed when elected to the state senate after it came at the suggestion of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® of what can be done to increase housing affordability across Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.
Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who represents Falmouth, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, has filed the companion bill in the House.