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CPF revenues continue downward spiral

COURTESY ILLUSTRATION

First quarter numbers for Community Preservation Fund (CPF) revenues are in and they’re not promising.

Money for the CPF comes from a 2-percent tax that buyers pay when purchasing East End properties and is used in turn to purchase open space for preservation and fund water protection programs.

Four of the five East End towns are in the negative column, with only Riverhead showing a small increase over 2018 CPF income, according to figures released by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

Shelter Island remains down by about 38 percent over the first quarter of 2018.

The town took in $370,000 in first quarter revenues last year, but only $230,000 for the same period this year.

Southampton CPF revenues were down by 40 percent this year, netting $8.3 million as compared with $13.7 million for the first three months of 2018.

Southold’s CPF revenues declined by 18.6 percent, dropping from $2 million last year to $1.5 million this year.

In East Hampton, the decline was 14 percent, going from $7 million last year to $6 million this year.

Only Riverhead showed an increase, up by 9 percent from $650,000 last year to $710,000 this year.

The overall decline for the five East End towns was at 29 percent, moving from $23.5 million last year to $16.5 million this year.

The total revenues for March alone this year totalled $4.6 million as compared with $6.5 million last March.

Since its inception in 1999, the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund has generated $1.4 billion. But the first quarter revenue number for 2019 is the lowest first quarter total since 2012.

“CPF revenues have shown declines for three consecutive months,” Mr. Thiele said. The declines have particularly been seen at the high end of the market, he said, advising local government officials to closely monitor CPF revenues in the coming months.

“Be cautious in making any long term projections,” Mr. Thiele advised.

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