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East End reaps 113% increase in preservation money: Shelter Island sees 189.5% increase from 2020 figures

A thriving real estate market continues to pour money into Community Preservation Fund revenues throughout the East End, with Shelter Island demonstrating the largest percentage income for the first six months of 2021.

The Island has seen a 189.5% increase in its CPF revenues, bringing in $2.49 million this year compared with $860,000 for the same six months of 2020.

All five East End towns are reflecting increases, with $113.5 million raised in preservation money this year, compared with $53.28 million last year, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

The money generated by a 2% tax paid by property buyers funds preservation of land and up to 20% of the total can be used for water quality improvement projects.

“This marks the 11th straight month that revenues have exceeded $10 million per month,” Mr. Thiele said. He attributed the increase in revenues to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in fueling real estate activity on the East End.

Since its inception in 1999, the Community Preservation Fund has generated $1.714 billion, Mr. Thiele said. In the last 12 months alone, the fund has generated $200 million with more than $15 million per month coming in during the past nine months.

CPF income for the other four East End towns during the first six months of this year have been:

• East Hampton has seen a 165% increase in CPF funds from $14.39 million to $38.14 million this year         

• Southampton has seen a 95.3% increase in CPF money from $32.24 million in 2020 to $62.96 million this year

• Southold has seen its CPF revenues rise by 84.1% this year to $6.61 million from $3.59 million last year

• Riverhead has had a 50.5% increase from $3.3 million in 2020 to $3.31 million this year.