Although four of five East End towns showed an upturn in Community Preservation Fund (CPF) money for the first five months of the year, a 25 percent decline in East Hampton was enough to bring down the total revenues collected so far this year compared with the first five months of 2016.
Money for the CPF comes from a 2 percent tax buyers pay when purchasing East End properties and is used in turn to purchase open space for preservation and fund water protection programs. From January through the end of May this year the fund swelled by $38.07 million. For the same period last year, $38.78 million went into the CPF, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), representing a 1.8 percent downturn
Shelter Island is bouncing back nicely having seen an upturn last month and another one this month. The Island took in $800,000 for the first five months of 2017 as compared with $700,000 for the same period in 2016. That represents a 14.3 percent increase.
The other East End towns, except for East Hampton, saw positive numbers with Southold leading the way with a 23.9 percent increase. Southold received $2.9 million for the first five months this year compared with $2.34 million last year.
Southampton’s CPF money is up by 9.1 percent at $23.09 million this year as compared with $21.16 million last year. Riverhead also rebounded by 5.4 percent, netting $1.17 million as compared with $1.11 million last year.
As for the lag in East Hampton, its CPF revenues were down from $13.46 million last year to $10.1 million this year.
“Real estate sales on the East End have plateaued since reaching a record high in 2014,” Mr. Thiele said.
CPF revenues in 2016 were 13 percent lower than they had been in 2014 and have been declining overall by 7 percent a year, he said.
Since the fund was launched in 1999, CPF revenues have generated $1.2 billion, he said.