Legislation making it easier for Wisconsin residents to save money for a down payment on their first house is being considered by state lawmakers.

The proposed first-time home buyer savings account would let a prospective buyer subtract from his or her annual taxable income the amount—up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for those who file a joint tax return—that's put into the savings account that year, along with interest earned. The tax advantage applies only to state income taxes.

Down payment funds can be saved in the special account for up to 10 years and can’t exceed $50,000.

Banks and credit unions, which compete for consumer deposits and loans, don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. But both like the idea of establishing first-time home buyer savings account in Wisconsin.

Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, said the bills “work to encourage Wisconsinites to achieve the dream of homeownership.”

“Saving for a home is an important financial goal for many consumers, and we support any way to encourage such saving,” Oswald Poels said. “Interest rates are still terrific for most borrowers and the housing market in most areas of the state remains robust.”

Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.