State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, joined legislators in the state House recently to overwhelmingly pass a bill to give first-time homebuyers a tax deduction for money saved toward the purchase of a home.

“I was proud to support H.B. 128 as Democratic chair of the Urban Affairs Committee, and I was proud to support it again last week in the House,” Caltagirone said. “I thank my colleagues for recognizing that we need to break down the barriers to owning a home in Pennsylvania. By advancing this legislation, Pennsylvania is one step closer to providing families an easier way to save for their first home while reducing the burden of things like down payments and closing costs.”

Jointly introduced by Reps. Rosemary Brown, R-Monroe, and Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, H.B. 128 would establish the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Act, allowing Pennsylvanians to open special savings accounts and take state tax deductions for eligible expenses such as a down payment and closing costs.

“Now it’s time for the Senate to help get this bill across the finish line by passing it and sending it to the governor,” Caltagirone said. “Last week’s vote showed that there is overwhelming bipartisan support for legislation like H.B. 128 to make homeownership more accessible. I hope the Senate will recognize the opportunity before them and move the bill forward without delay.”

Account holders would be permitted to claim deductions for 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. 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.

It’s estimated that allowing Pennsylvanians to establish first-time homebuyer savings accounts could result in an annual increase of up to 4,000 home purchases within the state, with the projected impact from economic activity, job creation and earnings reaching as high as $68.8 million.

The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration, where it would need to be passed before being sent to the governor.

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