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Arkansas legislature considering giving cash to first-time home buyers

By: 9 March 2011 2 Comments

Remember how the federal first-time home buyer tax credit stimulated the housing market when it was in place in one form or another for two years starting in April 2008?

The Arkansas Legislature is, apparently, hoping to stimulate housing markets here in the Natural State with a similar program.

HB1986, which is pending before the House Committee on Insurance and Finance, would grant first-time home buyers up to $2,500 for purchasing new homes. There are some stipulations, of course. For one thing, a first-time home buyer is anyone who has not owned a home for the past three years. That’s right — a first-time buyer is not necessarily someone who has never owned a house.

Second, the income of the individual or couple seeking an allowance comes into play. Individuals making more than $75,000 a year and couples making more than $150,000 will be entitled to less of an allowance — the more a person or couple makes, the less of an allowance they will be granted.

The bill comes with an emergency clause that, if passed, means the act will be effective on July 1. The law would cost the state no more than $7 million — enough for 2,800 allowances. Under the terms of the bill, each of the four Arkansas Congressional districts would be allocated 700 allowances to be used prior to March 31 next year. If there’s still money in the fund, then the allowances could be extended to June 30 next year.

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Mark Biviano (R-Searcy).

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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