Bill would help first-time home buyers

A House bill would allow first-time home buyers in Mississippi to create savings accounts of up to $5,000 for a couple exempt from state taxes.

“This is a one-time exemption,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, who authored the bill. “… You’re only a first-time homebuyer once.”

House Bill 1601 passed the Ways and Means Committee unanimously on Monday and heads to the full House. Starting in 2018, it would allow a single first-time homebuyer to have a savings account of up to $2,500 exempt from state taxes. A married couple filing taxes jointly could have up to $5,000. The money would have to be kept in a separate account and could not be used for other purposes. If it is used otherwise, it would become taxable income and subject to a 10 percent penalty. The money could be used for a down payment or any allowable closing costs on a single-family residence in Mississippi.

Clarion Ledger
2/20/17