The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund smashed records in 2014, bringing in a total of $107.69 million, demolishing the previous record of $96.02 million set in 2007. Since the fund started in 1999, it has now brought in nearly one billion dollars.
The CPF is funded through a 2 percent real estate transfer tax approved in a public referendum in 1998 and extended again by voters in 2006 until 2030. The money is used by individual East End towns to buy farmland development rights, open space, parks and historic properties.
“It is clear that the real estate industry on the East End is in its strongest position since the start of the recession in 2008,” said State Assemblyman Fred Thiele in a press release announcing the revenue this week.
“CPF revenues have increased by 167 percent since 2009 and have consistently grown for the past five years,” he added. “Town CPF funds should now be flush with cash, allowing towns to be aggressive in protecting lands for open space, farmland, parks and recreation, and historic preservation purposes. Further, we are now well positioned to extend the fund for an additional 20 years and add water to land preservation in our efforts to protect the East End’s community character.”
According to Mr. Thiele’s figures, East Hampton brought in $31.62 million in 2014, a 12.3 percent increase over 2013; Riverhead brought in $3.41 million, a 32.2 percent increase; Shelter Island brought in $2.2 million, a 7.3 percent increase; Southampton brought in $64.68 million, an 11.9 percent increase and Southold brought in $5.78 million, an 18.9 percent increase.
The CPF took in $14.43 million in revenue in December 2014, also the highest one-month total in the history of the program. The towns of Southampton and East Hampton also generated their highest annual revenue in the history of the program last year.
Since its inception in 1999, the Community Preservation Fund has generated $992.52 million, and it could exceed the $1 billion mark within the next month or two.