Government Briefs 11.29.18

East End

C.P.F. Revenues Up

Revenues for the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund for the first 10 months of 2018 are up 3 percent over the same period last year. 

Through October, the C.P.F. had collected $81.27 million, versus $78.88 million in 2017. The fund collected $8.31 million in October, almost $800,000 more than the October 2017 figure, which was $7.53 million. Over the last 12 months, the fund has collected $97.6 million. 

The Town of East Hampton saw a 23.9-percent increase over the first 10 months of 2017, with revenue rising from $21.64 million to $26.82 million. Southampton Town, however, saw an 8-percent decrease, its share falling to $43.3 million through the first 10 months of 2018 versus $47.09 million from January through October 2017. Shelter Island saw an even greater decrease, to $970,000 from $1.35 million, a 28.1-percent decline. 

Among the five East End towns, Riverhead saw the greatest gain percentagewise through the first 10 months of 2018, revenue rising by 43.3 percent, from $2.82 million to $4.04 million. Southold Town saw a modest uptick in revenue, from $5.98 million to $6.14 million, or a 2.7-percent increase over the first 10 months of 2017. 

The community preservation fund comes from a 2-percent real estate transfer tax, proceeds from which are disbursed to the townships in which the transaction takes place. It is used to acquire land, development rights, and other interests in property for conservation and water quality improvement purposes. 

Cumulative C.P.F. revenue stands at $1.364 billion since the fund’s inception, in 1999. In 2006, voters in all five townships approved a referendum to extend the fund’s life from 2020 to 2030. In a 2016 referendum, voters extended the fund to 2050 and added the opportunity for the towns to invest up to 20 percent of the funds toward water quality improvement projects. C.W.


Suffolk County

Schneiderman Concedes

Jay Schneiderman has officially conceded the race for Suffolk County comptroller to the incumbent, John M. Kennedy Jr., three weeks after the election. Mr. Schneiderman, who is the Southampton Town supervisor and a former East Hampton Town supervisor, had been waiting for the absentee ballots to be tallied. 

He said on Tuesday that he finished 4,536 votes down out of more than 500,000 cast. “The margin was less than 1 percent,” he said. He ran on the Democratic ticket.

There are also 1,000 or so votes being challenged by Mr. Kennedy’s team, and those have not been counted yet, Mr. Schneiderman said. He estimated that in the end he will have lost by 3,000 to 4,000 votes. 

“I just called John Kennedy and conceded. I congratulated him on his victory and pledged to work together to help the county get through its financial challenges,” Mr. Schneiderman said. He plans to run for re-election as supervisor in the fall. 


New York State

Thiele Supports Solar Expansion Campaign

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. has announced his support for the Million Solar Strong campaign, an effort to power one million New York households, including 100,000 low-income households, with solar energy by 2023.

The coalition comprises industry, environmental, justice, and community organizations that are working toward a clean energy economy that benefits all state residents. The campaign strengthens the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which seeks to develop the renewable energy industry, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and derive 50 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Accelerating the transition to a clean energy system will make energy and utility bills more affordable, create new jobs, reduce air pollution, and combat climate change. 

“These efforts will help combat climate change, reduce emissions, and build a more environmentally-friendly, resilient and affordable energy system,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “It is imperative that we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and support initiatives that seek to advance New York’s clean energy future — one that is available to all New Yorkers, regardless of income level.”