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Revenue decline for preservation fund

Proceeds to the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund decreased slightly over the first 11 months of last year, even though Southampton Town’s portion rose 16 percent during that period.

The other four East End towns saw steep declines.

According to Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), who monitors the fund, $53.52 million was collected for all the towns from January to November 2011 — 0.1 percent lower than the $53.6 million brought in during the first 11 months of 2010.

November 2011 brought in $5.3 million, a slight increase over the $5.27 million collected in November 2010.

Since the fund started in 1999, it has generated $717.12 million for preservation of land in East End towns, Thiele said.

Southampton Town’s Community Preservation Fund revenue has been steadily rising; $35.54 million was collected last year, a 16 percent increase from 2010’s totals over the same period.

The rest of the East End towns had significant declines during that time. East Hampton collected $12.71 million, a 22 percent drop. Riverhead, which collected $1.62 million, declined by 25 percent. Shelter Island collected $740,000, a 43 percent drop. Southold brought in $2.9 million, an 11 percent decrease.

The Community Preservation Fund, which generates money from a 2 percent tax on real estate sales — the first $250,000 of a sale is exempt — was started in 1999 after voters approved a referendum. Each town generates and spends the money within its own boundaries.

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