REALTOR® Bill, HB 248, Receives Action in the Senate
March 5, 2018
Last Wednesday, HB 248, the First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account REALTOR® bill, sponsored by Rep. Kyle South (R-Fayette), received a favorable report from the Senate Finance & Taxation Education Committee. Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper) presented HB 248 to the committee.
HB 248 provides for a savings account for persons who have never owned a home or those that are re-entering the housing market, if they have not owned a home within five years. The savings from the account can be used to pay for a down payment and/or closing costs for the single-family dwelling. The bill states that deposits and earnings cannot exceed $60,000, and qualified expenditures must be made in 5 years from opening the account.
Committee Chairman Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) asked questions about the bill that were quickly answered by Senator Reed and the AAR Public Policy team.
During the meeting, committee member Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) stated, “This bill will help those families struggling to find the resources for a down payment for a home – these people want to be homeowners and this bill will allow them to do it!” Whatley continued saying, “Home sales are a great barometer for economic growth, and I want to thank the REALTORS® for bringing this bill forward."
Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) made a motion for a favorable report, which was seconded by Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville). HB 248 passed the committee unanimously 11-0. The Senators present were:
Senator Gerald Allen
Senator Slade Blackwell
Senator Gerald Dial
Senator Vivian Figures
Senator Jimmy Holley
Senator Jim McClendon
Senator Trip Pittman
Senator Hank Sanders
Senator Arthur Orr
Senator Jabo Waggoner
Senator Tom Whatley
HB 248 now goes to the Senate floor for final passage.
Background: Alabama First-Time Home Buyers Savings Accounts (FHSA)
REALTORS® are advancing a program to help promote homeownership with potential first-time homebuyers in Alabama. The legislation would establish First-Time Home Buyers Savings Accounts to help first-time homebuyers save money toward the purchase of their first home. The FHSA Bill creates tax-free savings accounts that a first-time buyer can use on the down payment and closing costs of a residence. These savings accounts will allow more people to experience the American dream of homeownership. To learn more about the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account, click here.