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East End preservation funds decrease

Southampton is the only East End town at this point in 2011 to take in more money this year than last year in its Community Preservation Fund, a barometer of home sales in the area.

Money is generated by a 2 percent tax on real estate sales; the first $250,000 of the sale of a home is exempt.

In the first eight months of the year, Southampton tops the list of East End towns at $27.52 million, an increase of 20.7 percent over the same time last year.

By comparison, East Hampton brought in $9.3 million, a decrease of nearly 30 percent from last year.

Riverhead’s total was $1.38 million, a 7 percent decline. Southold brought in $2.23 million, a 9 percent decline, and Shelter Island’s fund of $560,000 represents a 34 percent decrease, although numbers for that town tend to fluctuate because it has fewer homes.

The figures were released by Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), who has monitored the funds since their inception in 1999. Since then, the five towns’ funds have generated $704.62 million, Thiele said, for the purchase of environmentally sensitive land.

The fund will expire in 2030.

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