Hamptons sales power 115% increase in preservation fund

A 2 percent transfer tax has generated $131 million this year

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (Getty, Facebook via Thiele)
Assembly member Fred W. Thiele Jr. (Getty, Facebook via Thiele)

Revenues for the East End’s community preservation fund are smashing totals from last year, thanks to the hot housing market, according to Behind the Hedges.

The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund is replenished by a 2 percent real estate transfer tax on deals in East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island and Southold.

Revenues from the first seven months of 2021 exceed $131 million, a 115 percent increase from the $61.1 million generated during the same period last year.

“The last 10 months have all exceeded $15 million per month,” said Southampton Assembly member Fred Thiele.

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The Hamptons has experienced a surge in activity since the beginning of the pandemic, although it has started to slow. The impact on the fund’s revenues “should be anticipated in coming months,” Thiele said.

Shelter Island saw the largest percentage jump in open space tax revenues — a 168.6 percent increase from just over $1 million to about $2.75 million.

Southampton sales generated the most revenue at $72.6 million, double the total from January through July of last year.

So much money has been pouring into the open space fund that questions have arisen over how to spend it.

[Behind the Hedges] — Dennis Lynch