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Preservation fund benefits from home sales

Real estate sales have been brisk on the East End, a development that means higher revenues for the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund.

The fund, established for the five East End towns, imposes a 2 percent tax on the purchase of a home. In May, the fund recorded the highest monthly revenue collection this year, $6.44 million, Assemb. Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) reported Wednesday.

“Real estate activity has been robust in May, particularly on the South Fork, which collected 95 percent of all CPF revenues” for the month, Thiele said.

The fund is used to purchase land for preservation or to obtain development rights to preserve land in its current use, typically farmland. The first $150,000 of the sale price is excluded from the tax in Riverhead and on the North Fork; the exclusion is $250,000 on the South Fork and Shelter Island.

So far this year, the fund has collected $24.07 million; there have been 2,324 transactions from homeowner sales. The fund has raised $694.12 million from its beginning in 1999, according to Thiele, and has preserved more than 6,000 acres.

Revenues from the towns so far this year are East Hampton, $5 million; Riverhead, $790,000; Shelter Island, $390,000; Southampton, $16.7 million; and Southold, $1.3 million.

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