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Preservation revenues continue to break records: Highest income in any five months of the program

The hot real estate market on the East End continues to fuel Community Preservation Fund (CPF) revenues, with Shelter Island leading the pack in terms of percentages. Island CPF revenues for the first five months of 2021 are up by a whopping 234.8%, bringing in $2.31 million so far this year, compared with $690,000 for the same period in 2020.

Money for the CPF comes from a 2% 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.

East Hampton saw its preservation revenues increase by 151.6% with $31.04 million coming between January and the end of May, compared with $12.34 million last year.

Southold’s CPF revenues saw a 90% boost with $5.85 million hitting its coffers as compared with $3.08 million last year. Southampton was close behind in terms of percentages, bringing in 87% more this year. That town saw revenues increase from $27.6 million last year to $51.62 million this year.

Riverhead saw a 57.3% increase, or $2.86 million, compared with $1.7 million last year.

The total for all five East End towns was a 106.2% increase with $95.69 million brought in during the first five months of 2021, compared with $45.43 million for the same period last year.

Since its inception in 1999, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) said $1.694 billion has been collected by the five East End towns for land preservation and, in recent years, up to 20% of that money has been available for water quality improvement projects.

The money that came in during the first five months of this year represents the highest revenues for any five-month period in the history of the program, Mr. Thiele said.

“Revenues for the CPF continue to reflect the significant increase in real estate activity on the East End since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the legislator said.

This marks the 10th straight month that revenues have exceeded $10 million per month.