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Missouri bill could help millennials buy homes

March 31, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are pushing a bill that could make it easier for people buying a home for the first time.

The bill would allow Missouri residents to set aside money in a first-time home buyer savings account and deduct state taxes on half the contributions. The funds could be used for a down payment, closing costs and other fees for buying a home, the Kansas City Star reported .

First-time home buyers often begin their careers with student debt and minimal savings, said Republican Rep. Becky Ruth, who proposed the bill.

“So that’s a lot of money to have to come up with all at once,” she said.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 36 percent of adults younger than 35 own homes. But that’s not necessarily for lack of interest.

Millennials put off home ownership by an average of seven years with more than 80 percent blaming student debt, according to a joint study by the National Association of Realtors and the American Student Assistance.

“I know very few who want to do lofts in downtown Kansas City, but everybody that I know my age wants to buy a house,” said Micah Bottemuller, a Lee’s Summit resident in his mid-20s. “They just don’t know the best steps to do it.”

The program would cost the state about $4.4 million a year once fully implemented, according to a fiscal estimate.

The bill passed in the House but awaits action in a Senate committee.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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