Community Preservation Fund revenue across the five East End towns totaled $29.42 million during the first five months of 2019, 27.4 percent less than the same period a year before, according to the office of State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.
In the month of May, revenues dipped 38.7 percent, from $8.94 million in 2018 to $5.48 million this year.
“CPF revenues have declined for five consecutive months when compared with 2018,” Mr. Thiele noted in a statement.
He added, “While there is wide speculation as to why this decline has occurred, there is no doubt that the six-year streak of $90 million-plus per year in CPF revenue is in serious jeopardy. Current trends would result in revenues in the $70 million range for 2019, the lowest since the end of the Great Recession. Local government officials should continue to closely monitor CPF revenues in the coming months and be cautious in making any long-term projections.”
Each town maintains its own CPF, which is funded via a 2 percent transfer tax on most real estate transactions. The proceeds can be used for open space and farmland preservation, and water quality projects, among other uses.
Southampton has seen the sharpest declines: CPF revenue in May is down 31.4 percent, from $22.07 million to $15.14 million, in the one-year period.
East Hampton CPF revenue slid 27.1 percent, from $12.86 million to $9.38 million.
The first $100,000 of a vacant, unimproved parcel and the first $250,000 of a developed parcel are exempt from the tax in both Southampton and East Hampton towns. There also is a first-time homebuyer exemption.
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