A House bill to establish a rebate for first time home buyers in Louisiana passed the Ways and Means Committee. Baton Rouge Representative Paula Davis told the committee that a lack of cash and college debts are making it nearly impossible for young persons to own a residence in Louisiana.
"What do we want to prioritize in this state? I think that home ownership and bricks and mortar is some we should encourage and promote."
Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter voiced concern over the bill. He says since parishes don’t share homestead exemption records between them, that some homeowners could take advantage of the proposed tax break.
"We don't want to create a monster where people hop from parish to parish and take advantage of the state. We have enough of that at this particular point. If we're going to do this we have to make sure we're on top of it."
Monroe Representative Jay Morris says the state doesn’t have money to fund this 15-million-dollar rebate plan. Since the Governor is calling for reductions to balance the budget, Morris says there’s no room to find money to fund Davis’ bill.
"By passing this bill, we're saying subsidizing somebody purchasing a $500,000 home is more important than funding TOPS fully."