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Senate passes Horn’s first-time homebuyer legislation

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn to create the Michigan First-Time Home Buyer Savings Program.

“I’ve worked on similar legislation over the years and we’ve continued to craft it and improve it in ways that will help people purchase their first home,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “The aim of this program is to promote smart homeownership and the retention of talent in Michigan. It’s a tool we can use to encourage people to ultimately put down roots here in our state.”

Senate Bills 145 and 146, sponsored by Horn and Sen. Jim Runestad, would allow an individual to create a first-time homebuyer savings account. The account would provide tax benefits and allow funds in the account to be used toward a down payment or allowable closing costs for a first-time home purchase in Michigan.

The first-time homebuyer savings accounts would function similarly to education savings plans, which have proven to be extremely beneficial in helping Michigan families cover increasing costs of higher education.

“We have worked hard over the years to train, retain and attract talented individuals to help fill Michigan’s talent gap and diversify our economy,” Horn said. “Purchasing a home is a major step in anyone’s life, and saving for a down payment and other closing costs is a huge barrier of entry to homeownership. These bills would provide a bit of relief to those working through one of life’s major milestones.”

Horn points to the successful implementation of similar legislation in other states as a motive to get Michigan up to speed and provide the state with an additional tool to gain and retract young talent.

“We’ve seen this model used successfully in other states when it comes to retaining and attracting talent, and I think we ought to add it to our toolbox here in Michigan,” Horn said.

The bills now head to the House of Representatives for further consideration.