After struggling for three quarters in 2014, Shelter Island real estate professionals turned the corner in sales during the fourth quarter, demonstrating a 7.3 percent increase in money generated for the Community Preservation Fund during the year.The Island reported a total of $2.2 million in CPF funding in 2014 as compared with $2.05 million in 2013, according to statistics released by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).
The money, represented by a 2 percent tax property buyers pay, is used by municipalities to purchase land to be permanently preserved.
“It is clear that the real estate industry on the East End is in its strongest position since the start of the recession in 2008,” Mr. Thiele said.
The five East End towns produced a total of $107.69 million in CPF revenues and “demolished the previous annual record of $96.02 million set in 2007 before the Great Recession,” the legislator said.
While Shelter Island was slower than the other East End towns to record numbers that showed a turnaround, professionals generally said there were plenty of deals in the pipeline that were taking more time than expected to close.
That proved to be the case by the time fourth quarter numbers rolled were reported.
In December, alone, the fund took in $14.43 million throughout the five towns, the highest one month total in the history of the program, Mr. Thiele said.
“Town CPF funds should now be flush with cash, allowing towns to be aggressive in protecting lands for open space, farmland, parks and recreation and historic preservation purposes,” he said.
“We are now well positioned to extend the fund for an additional 20 years and add water to land preservation in our efforts to protect the East End’s community character,” Mr. Thiele added, reiterating his earlier call to direct some of the CPF money to programs focused on protecting water quality throughout the area.