In January, after 12 straight months of decline, revenues for the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund were up more than 66 percent from the same period last year, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced last week.
The preservation fund, which provides money for land preservation and water quality improvement, 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.
Because of increased real estate sales, $9.1 million was collected in January, compared to $5.47 million a year ago.
Mr. Thiele noted that in each month of 2019, C.P.F. revenues had been lower than the corresponding month in 2018, so the increase marks a welcome turnaround. Still, he cautioned, at least a quarter of a year of data would be needed before determining whether the real estate market has emerged from a slump.
In East Hampton, revenue for January was up nearly 85 percent, the largest increase of South Fork towns. Southampton was up nearly 57 percent, Riverhead was up more than 64 percent, and Southold was up nearly 88 percent.
Shelter Island, which had strong C.P.F. revenues for much of 2019, was down 20 percent.