Lowest C.P.F. in Six Years

Because of a slowdown in real estate sales in January and February, revenues for the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund declined by nearly 29 percent from the same period last year — the lowest totals since 2013 — Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced on Tuesday. Overall home sales produced nearly $12 million in revenue, compared to nearly $17 million in 2018.

The preservation fund, which provides money for land preservation and water quality improvement, receives the proceeds of a 2-percent real estate transfer tax imposed by the five East End towns: East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island, Southold, and Riverhead. 

Southampton posted the largest decline this year, raising just over $6 million, compared to more than $10 million in January and February of 2018. 

Revenue from sales in East Hampton, which was down by more than 50 percent in January, increased in February, but was still lower — by 15 percent — than in the corresponding months of 2018. 

Riverhead, which was the only town in which the tax revenue increased year over year in January, continued that trend, with revenues exceeding 2018 levels by 35 percent. Shelter Island’s C.P.F. revenues were down nearly 35 percent, and Southold’s more than 15 percent.

In a prepared statement about the decreased revenue, Mr. Thiele, as he had in an announcement about the January results, cautioned against using the numbers to predict how the real estate market would fare during the rest of the year. “At least a quarter of a year of data is required to determine whether the revenue drop . . . is an aberration or a significant change,” he said.