It has been a slow start this year for Shelter Island real estate sales that generate Community Preservation Fund money used to purchase open space land and provide money for water improvement projects.
The Island will receive $370,000 in CPF money for the first quarter of 2018, down by 14 percent from the $430,000 money received for the same period last year.
The money represents a 2 percent tax paid by buyers of East End properties and was originally allocated to the five towns solely for the purchase of open spaces and farmland. But in the last year, residents in each of the towns supported referendums allowing up to 20 percent of their CPF money to be used for projects that would improve water quality.
Riverhead also saw a drop in its CPF money while the other three East End towns — Southampton, East Hampton and Southold — saw increases.
Riverhead was down 11 percent, bringing in $650,000 compared with $730,000 for the same period in 2017.
Southampton saw a 6.9 percent increase this year, bringing in $13.71 million this year as compared with $12.83 million for the first quarter of 2017. East Hampton followed with a 6.6 percent increase and will receive $6.77 million this year as compared with $6.35 million last year.
Southold increased by 5.6 percent for the first quarter of 2018 and will receive $1.88 million compared with $1.78 million last year.
When all five East End towns are tallied, there’s an overall 5.7 percent increase in CPF money totalling $23.4 million for the first quarter of 2018 as compared with $22.13 million last year, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).
The legislator noted that the CPF money has totalled $1.307 billion since the inception of the program in 1999.