Community Preservation Fund revenues from a two percent real estate transfer tax have ballooned so far this year, as New Yorkers seeking refuge from the pandemic went on a real estate buying frenzy on the East End.
New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. reported Monday that the funds, which are administered separately in each of the five East End Towns, were $72.26 million for the first eight months of 2020, up 36.8 percent from $52.82 million in the same period last year.
August revenues totaled $11.16 million, up from $6.02 million last year.
“CPF revenues for August 2020 are over $5 million more than a year ago,” said Mr. Thiele. “The eight-month total for 2020 is the highest year-to-date revenue total for eight months in the 21-year history of the CPF. The increase in revenue continues to be fueled by the exodus from New York City and other population centers to the East End.
The biggest percentage gains were in Southampton Town, whose CPF fund gained $42.47 million so far this year, up 44.8 percent. It was followed by East Hampton Town, up 36.9 percent to $20.87 million. Percentage-wise, Riverhead followed the two South Fork towns, with a 28.6 percent increase from $2.17 million to $2.79 million. Shelter Island saw an 11.8 percent increase from $1.02 million to $1.14 million.
Southold was the one township to show a decrease in CPF revenue, a decline of 1.4 percent from $5.07 million to $5 million.
Since its inception in 1999, the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund has generated $1.533 billion. The CPF has generated $98 million in the last 12 months.