Homebuyer tax credit passes Senate

Homebuyers would get a one-time tax credit on their state income tax if a bill that passed the Senate Thursday becomes law.

House Bill 261 would give a credit of either $3,600 or 1.2 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. The purpose of the bill is to create a stimulus for home sales, supporters say. The maximum credit of $3,600 would be on homes priced $300,000 or more. 

The amount of credit used could not exceed $1,200 in one year. Any unused credit could be carried forward for two years.

The bill would cost Georgia about $166.3 million, according to a letter from State Auditor Russell Hinton to the chairman of the state House Ways and Means Committee.

Opponents say the cost of the tax break is too great, and the number of sales it would generate too few, to make it worthwhile.

The House must still agree to the bill, which was amended in the Senate to allow the credit to apply to condos. It was also amended to allow taxpayers the choice of donating to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Georgia Chapter on their income tax forms.  

21 comments Add your comment


March 26th, 2009
5:09 pm

how long will it take for this to become law?

Road Scholar

March 26th, 2009
5:29 pm

So where are we going to get the money to run the state? They have now passed a tax credit for businesses and, in the budget, raised my health care payment by 30 %.

Hey "Road Scholar"

March 26th, 2009
5:45 pm

Can you say Property Tax increase . . . just keep piling it on the middle class . . .


March 26th, 2009
5:50 pm

This short piece doesn’t specify “first time homebuyers,” like the federal credit. We’ll see…


March 26th, 2009
6:57 pm

OK…. so what if you purchased a house within the last 2 years……why shouldn’t you get a tax break ?…. Heck most likely your house went down in value.

ben dover

March 26th, 2009
7:32 pm

Being in my late forties, I’ve bought a couple of house along the way. The first time homebuyers credit is obviously aimed at those who are young enough never to have bought a home. Isn’t this age discrimination?


March 26th, 2009
8:28 pm

This is not limited to first-time homebuyers. You can read the text of the bill here:


March 26th, 2009
8:49 pm

Not all first time home buyers are kids… I was never in a position to buy a home until now and I am in my 40’s… So don’t go and assuming things…


March 26th, 2009
10:21 pm

i’m confused. when do you get the money, at tax time or is it retroactive?


March 26th, 2009
10:52 pm

When do I get my handout? I bought a house last year and feel live I’m getting screwed out of all the real benefits.


March 27th, 2009
6:19 am

More garbage aimed at subsidizing the NAR and the pigmen homebuilders. When the state has to lay off more teachers next year due to lost revenue, maybe they can go live in all the empty McMansions.


March 27th, 2009
7:27 am

The State will be safer when the Assembly Circus show shuts down for the year. Sonny and the gang are looking out for themselves and everybody else can go to you know where.


March 27th, 2009
7:35 am

Ben Dover: Congratulations on having the fortune to own property before you are “old.” No, it is NOT age discrimination. The first time home-buyer credit is geared towards ANYONE who hasn’t purchased or owned a home in the last THREE years, regardless of AGE. I am in my 40’s as well, and although have owned a home in the past, would NOW be considered a FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER. Get your facts straight before you automatically jump to conclusions and start shouting AGE DISCRIMINATION. This credit benefits everyone and anyone without regard to race, age, gender or any of the other usually biased methods.

Nancy Minor

March 27th, 2009
7:54 am

This tax credit would benefit everyone. This would help move some of the existing inventory which would cause all of our values to go up. It is a simple matter of supply and demand. As I understand this, it is for all buyers. I hope they vote soon as the hope of this causes buyers to put their search on hold. Buyers are afraid to buy until they know dates and such because of fear of missing out on the benefit.


March 27th, 2009
8:46 am

Correction…..This bill will not benefit everyone. How about seniors whose retirement income is all tax exempt. If they buy another house, will they get a $1,200 check a year for the next three years? I think not!!!!!


March 27th, 2009
8:52 am

stimulating home sales is also a way to get all those unpaid property tax bills from homes in foreclosure paid and up to date, including any penalties and interest. so, all those home in foreclosure, no one is paying the property taxes, which means its a bigger burden on us that do pay property taxes. so, the theory that our taxes will increase is not necessarily true, especially if this bill is successful and gets a lot of foreclosures off the market. that is property tax revenue that will be immediately injected into the system. also, remember, unless the buyer can work out a deal with the bank, usually the buyer of a foreclosed property is on the hook for the back taxes, so this tax credit will only reduce their tax burden but they will still be paying for all the unpaid property taxes up to that point (something to think about when buying a foreclosed home).

[...] The Senate approves a one-time homebuyer tax credit. [...]

Joey Porter

March 27th, 2009
9:55 am

jawjah has a monopoly on the worst government in the whole country. This law is a joke. It is meaningless and will not stimulate anything.

How on earth do people end up with the dumbest folks in jawjah running government.

It is simply amazing.


March 27th, 2009
9:55 am

If we can get the housing market moving, then the economy will turn around. People buy TV’s, carpet, paint, appliances, etc. This puts people to work. They in turn buy things, pay taxes and on and on. The housing market is a big key!!!

Bo Wagner

March 27th, 2009
10:34 am

The economy is in the toilet; we all agree on that. WHY is it in the toilet? HOUSING. It’s where the mess started, it is where recovery will begin. PERIOD. ANY incentive to get people off the fence is a good thing. The 1st-timer provision that Pelosi and company passed was not enough; this is one-size-fits-all and I sure hope it helps! My house is back on the market after being rented for a year (it sat for a year as well)–I have a few months before I could become a statistic so I applaud this measure.

As for age discrimination–are you just looking for a reason to be bitter? As far as Seniors and any benefit–I am not moved. I work for you daily, with the expectation that I will NEVER see the benefits that you are currently receiving due to the fruits of my labor (and your own, of course). Finally, yes, it sucks that current buyers get the breaks vs. people who bought in the past year or two. I have no retort (witty or substantive) to that; I hope you enjoy your new home though?


June 11th, 2009
5:19 pm

I’m in the process of purchasing a home! How do I claim or file for the credit? Does anyone know??????