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Hill Notes

posted by Heather Fegan | Feb 09, 2017

The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account is now Senate Study Bill 1056 (SSB1056)

 To view the bill and its status click here:  

The bill creates a new State income tax exemption for qualified deposits to a First-time Homebuyer Savings Account. 

  •  A first-time homebuyer - and parents/grandparents of a first-time homebuyer- would be able to receive an income tax exemption for savings up to $2,000/year for up to 10 years, or $4,000/year for two first time homebuyers who file taxes jointly
  •  Applied to the purchase of a property located anywhere in Iowa
  • The funds can be used for closing costs and down payment on a principal residence in Iowa
  • The first-time homebuyer is required to set up an account with an Iowa bank or credit union to be used to purchase a home in Iowa
  • The first-time homebuyer will be responsible for the accuracy of the account and filing reports with the Department of Revenue
  • No penalties for early withdrawal if used for the purchase of a home in Iowa
  • Income tax and minimal penalties would apply for withdrawal of monies if not used for the purchase of a home in Iowa
  • False claims or statements are a serious misdemeanor and subject to fines


While the bill number will likely change and amendments added through the process, we are hopeful that legislators will see the great economic impact this legislation will have on our state and our first-time homebuyers.

With help from NAR, there will be a targeted campaign to homeowners to educate them on the importance of this legislation and encourage them to contact their legislators.

IAR is keeping a watch on a few other bills and drafts:

Iowa Code on general Brokerage/License

The IAR submitted the idea of a “Code Cleanup” bill.  Among other “routine modernization” part of the language of this bill allows the Iowa Real Estate Commission (IREC) to clearly enforce laws against non-licensees that are performing duties of a real estate licensee, and updating code to meet electronic realities of the day.

Familial Status

In the past we have supported legislation that a city cannot limit number of people who can live in an apartment that are not related. This has favor in many towns, and particularly college towns. Not only is this is a landlord issue, a “big picture” societal structure, and a “big government” concern, but also an private property issue. Cities have many other ways to govern “party houses”.

Statute of Limitations for Builders  

Builders again are asking for a reduction in the time period where they are open to lawsuit for faulty construction.  

Section 8 vouchers 

Some cities are passing ordinances which prevent landlords to consider source of funds as discriminatory.  Many landlords expect as part of their due diligence to evaluate the qualifications of potential tenants.  

Plat and subdivide land  

A push is on to not allow municipalities to tax development lots until actual construction occurs on a property.

Cell phone use while driving

Safety forces are driving home the point that hands-free is the safest way to utilize a cell phone when driving.

Forcible Entry and Detainer

A bill would recognize notice has been provided when a party shows up to a court action.  

The upcoming funnel deadline is March 3. All bills must be out of committee.

IAR Leadership will visit the Capitol and key government workers in the upcoming weeks. We will keep you up to date as things change throughout session.