Shelter Island leads all towns in preservation fund

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Figures recently released by Assemblyman Fred Thiele’s office showed Shelter Island taking the lead in Community Preservation Funds.

Shelter Island led all East End towns by percentage in Community Preservation Funds increases this year over last for the third quarter.

In the third quarter last year, the Island’s CPF fund took in $0.83 million. Numbers for this year topped out at $1.61 million for a 94 percent increase, according to figures released by Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor).

The CPF fund, also known as the “2-percent fund,” is financed by a two percent tax buyers pay on real estate deals, with the first $250,000 of the sale price exempted for Island deals. That money then goes into a town’s CPF fund and is solely dedicated to open space acquisitions.

All East End towns were up this quarter, with the top dollar amount going to Southampton Town, which took in $37.41 million in the third quarter.

Southold was the lowest by percentage, gaining about 9 percent over 2012 and taking in about $3 million in the quarter. Riverhead saw a boost of 41.6 percent for the third quarter this year over last, taking in $1.77 million.

Preservation funds for the East End towns went up nearly 50 percent this quarter over last year for a total of $64.7 million.

“At the three quarters mark of the year, CPF revenues are on track to produce $85-90 million for 2013, the highest annual total since 2007, before the Great Recession,” Mr. Thiele said.

Since the fund was made into law in 1999, the East End has received more than $854 million to buy and preserve open space.