The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund (CPF) took in $56.1 million in the first quarter of 2022, the largest first quarter in the fund’s 23-year history, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., the architect of the program.
The CPF took in 1.6% more in the first three months of 2022 than the same period last year when there was $55.2 million collected. The program, which now supports water quality in addition to open space, is funded by a 2% tax on most real estate purchases.
However, revenues in March were down, perhaps a product of record-low inventory throughout the five East End towns. A total of $16.81 million was collected, 7.4% less than the same month last year, which saw a total of $18.15 million.
February revenues were also down from $16 million in 2021 to $14.59 in February.
Still, Thiele noted it is the 20th consecutive month that CPF revenues have exceeded $10 million, during what has been a real estate boom, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a record-breaking 2021, in which a total of $210.64 million was generated, January 2022 also saw the biggest monthly revenue in the program’s history — $24.69 million, a 17.2% increase over January 2021.
Looking at the first-quarter figures, three of the five East End towns saw an increase compared to the first quarter of 2021. In the first three months of 2022, Southampton, which always takes in the most, received $30.25 million, 3.4% less than last year’s first-quarter revenues when it received $31.32 million. The dip was despite large home sales, such as a $50 million house on the ocean in Sagaponack, which closed in January. Shelter Island Town also saw a 15.7% decrease from $1.34 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $1.13 million so far this year.
On the North Fork, where revenues are always much less than on the South Fork, the increases when comparing first-quarter numbers were the largest. Riverhead Town saw the biggest increase — 32.4% — from $1.82 million in 2021 to $2.41 million in 2022. Southold Town saw a 9.9% bump with $3.54 million in revenues over $3.22 million during the same time last year.
The Town of East Hampton, meanwhile, received $18.75 million during the first three months of the year, a 7.1% increase over the $17.5 million in the first quarter of ’21. Among the large deals in the town was the sale of Ron Perelman’s Lily Pond Lane estate in East Hampton Village in early January, which closed at $84.5 million, and a $32 million sale on Amagansett’s oceanfront in March.
In the last 12 months alone, the CPF has generated $211.5 million.
Since its inception in 1999, the fund has generated $1.867 billion. The 2% tax under the CPF expires in 2050.