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East End land fund revenue may increase

Revenue from the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund is projected to surpass last year’s, but only because of a double-digit percentage increase in Southampton Town’s fund.

Other town funds are down significantly from last year, according to Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

For all five East End towns combined, the nine-month total for this year is $45.03 million, about 3 percent higher than the same time last year.

September’s totals were also higher than a year ago — $4.01 million last month compared with $2.83 million in September 2010, Thiele said.

The fund’s revenue comes from a 2 percent real estate tax that exempts the first $250,000 of the sale of a home. All five East End towns participate, and money raised in each town is used specifically to purchase land for preservation in that town. The fund, approved by referendum, began in 1999 and is slated to expire in 2030. It has raised $708.63 million in total for land preservation.

Southampton’s revenue rose by 23.9 percent compared to the same nine-month period last year, Thiele said in a statement. East Hampton’s fund is down 26 percent, Riverhead declined 10 percent, Shelter Island is down 39 percent, and Southold dropped 10 percent.
 

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