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Preservation Fund Nets Second-Largest Monthly Income

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 19:00
A Covid-fueled real estate boom has swept the South Fork, pushing a 2-percent transfer tax to record levels.
Jamie Bufalino

Because of an ongoing surge in home sales, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund collected $21.07 million in revenues in January, the second-largest monthly amount in the program’s 22-year history, exceeded only by the $21.3 million collected in December 2020, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced on Monday.

“To state the obvious, the East End real estate boom, resulting from the pandemic as people flee urban areas, continues,” Mr. Thiele said.

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

Revenues from Southampton Town in January were $13.02 million, more than 172 percent higher than in the same month last year, before the pandemic. East Hampton Town’s revenues were $5.76 million, an increase of more than 118 percent, Shelter Island’s were $750,000, up nearly 838 percent, and Riverhead’s were $620,000, an increase of nearly 16 percent. Southold was the one outlier. Revenues were $920,000, down nearly 16 percent from last year.

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