Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund revenues for 2013 were $95.43 million—the second-highest total in the fund’s 15-year history.
The 2-percent tax on most real estate transactions, which is used primarily to preserve and manage open space in the five East End towns, netted $12.64 million in December alone. That was the largest monthly total ever.
Among the five East End townships that participate in the CPF, East Hampton’s revenues came in second, behind Southampton’s, as is typical. In 2013, East Hampton took in $28.15 million in CPF revenue, an increase of 28.8 percent over the $21.86 million collected in 2012.
The top year for the five-town total, as well as for East Hampton, was 2007. In that year alone, East Hampton Town took in $30.06 million in revenue, Southampton received $53.53 million and the five towns together took in $96.02 million.
In the following year, 2008, overall CPF revenues plummeted to $56.63 million due to the recession. East Hampton’s proceeds plummeted to $14.5 million and then, in 2009, to $10.18 million, before starting to swim to the surface again.
“It is clear, based on the CPF revenues for 2013, [that] the real estate industry on the East End is in its strongest position since the start of the recession in 2008,” State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said in a press release issued on Monday.
“CPF revenues have more than doubled from 2009 and have shown consistent growth for several years,” the assemblyman continued. “This is good news for preservation efforts as CPF funds should now be flush with cash, allowing towns to be aggressive in protecting lands for open space, farmland, park and recreation, and historic preservation purposes.”
Overall, CPF revenue for 2013 exceeded that in 2012, which was $66.84 million, by 42.8 percent. There were 8,328 transactions recorded in 2013 compared to 5,972 in 2012, according to Mr. Thiele’s office. With $57.79 million for 2013, Southampton Town collected its highest annual revenue ever.
The year 2012 had already been a good one for the CPF, with the five towns collecting some $66.84 million in total revenue. Some people had predicted that real estate transactions would spike late in 2012, before new tax laws took effect, but then drop in 2013. Apparently that was not the case.