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Aug 26, 2009 10:52 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

CPF figures show slight rebound

Aug 26, 2009 10:52 AM

For the second month in a row, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund has posted an encouraging amount of revenue—$3.7 million for the month of July—according to a press release issued Monday by State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

That number is just short of June’s total, $3.84 million, which was the highest single-month total of the previous eight months.

The amount of money coming in via the CPF has fallen off drastically thanks to the meltdown in the financial services sector, the widespread recession and the downturn in the real estate market. Community Preservation Fund revenue comes from a 2-percent property transfer tax paid by buyers of houses and land on the East End. Developed properties are assessed after the first $250,000 of the purchase price. Vacant land has an exemption up to $100,000.

In light of the difficult economic conditions, Mr. Thiele indicated that June and July’s totals might offer reasons to be hopeful.

“It is still too early to reach any conclusions, but the fact that revenues have stabilized and have seen some increase is a step in the right direction,” he was quoted as saying in his press release.

So far this year, the five towns—Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island and Southold—that are part of the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund have collected about $17.5 million. Of that, Southampton Town has accumulated about $10.9 million; East Hampton, $4.2 million; Riverhead, $860,000; Southold, about $1.2 million; and Shelter Island, $350,000.

While June’s totals were a bright spot, the Peconic fund was down more than 60 percent for the first six months of 2009 compared with the first half of 2008. Southampton Town was down about 61 percent and East Hampton, 57 percent.

Last year, the Peconic fund accumulated a total of $56.6 million. About $33 million of that was earned by Southampton Town and $14.5 million in East Hampton Town.

Jennifer L. Henn

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