Senate Bill 849, the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account Act, would allow Oregonians to deduct pretax income of $5,000 a year ($10,000 per couple) from their paychecks and put it in a tax-free investment account to be used later as a down payment on a first home. The bill has bipartisan support and, perhaps more importantly, is the subject of an extraordinary effort by the Oregon Association of Realtors. It is spending heavily to generate support for the bill, which mirrors legislation Colorado adopted last year and would benefit real estate interests.
Tax watchdogs, including the Oregon Center for Public Policy, don't like the bill, which provides a tax break without means testing. OCPP calls it "the rich families down-payment assistance program."
Here are five key numbers that explain the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account Act.
Total amount a potential homebuyer could deduct from income over 10 years.
Amount the Oregon Association of Realtors put in Home First Coalition to pass the bill.
Number of households realtors say will use the tax credit in the next five years.
Percentage of beneficiaries the Oregon Center for Public Policy says will be in the top 20 percent of earners.