With all the difficult news during 2020, there is one major bright spot that will endure forever.
There was a significant increase in Community Preservation Fund (CPF) revenues for all five East End towns as recorded during the first 11 months of last year. The figures released by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) show a 70.5% increase over last year from revenues that come from a 2% tax on new property buyers on the East End.
That revenue reverts to each of the town coffers to provide for the purchase of land to be permanently conserved and never developed. It also provides money for water improvement projects in the towns.
The pandemic that has caused so much upheaval in everyone’s life is responsible for encouraging more people who were part-time residents or visitors to the East End to buy real estate here and relocate, resulting in the boost in CPF money.
In 2019, the towns received $69.29 million but in 2020, CPF revenues rose to $118.11 million.
Shelter Island has seen a 63.8% increase in its CPF revenues for the first 11 months of last year, bringing in $2.31 million compared with $1.41 million in 2019.
CPF revenues for the other four East End towns in the first 11 months of 2020 compared with 2019 are:
• Southampton receiving $68.69 million as compared with $36.98 million in 2019 for an 85. 7% increase.
• East Hampton receiving $34.69 million compared with $20.90 million in 2019 for a 66% increase.
• Riverhead receiving $4.04 million compared with $3.15 million in 2019 for a 28.3% increase.
• Southold receiving $8.38 million compared with $6.85 million in 2019 for a 22.3% increase.
Since its inception in 1999, the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund has generated $1.578 billion, Mr. Thiele said.
The CPF has generated $126.7 million in the last 12 months. The $15.5 million generated this November is the second largest revenue total for a single month in the history of the program, he said. CPF revenues for the same month last year were $5.95 million. The fund has already generated more revenue for the first 11 months of 2020 than any year in the history of the program, Mr. Thiele said.