CPF Revenues Fell in 2022 and Even More So Far in 2023

CPF, East End
Lloyd and Barbara Macklowe sold their home on West End Road in East Hampton Village for $39.5 million in January 2023.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund (CPF) slowed down in 2022, and then it took a dive in the first month of 2023.

The revenues plunged by 66.1% for the month of January as compared to the same month the previous year, and this after the East End experienced an overall decrease last year, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has reported.

In January 2023, the five towns collected only $8.36 million as opposed to the $24.69 million received in January 2022 — but, that was the highest monthly total in the 24-year history of the program.

“CPF revenues for January 2023 represent a return to the pre-pandemic levels experienced between 2013-2019,” said Thiele, the architect of the 2% tax on most real estate transfers. “Revenues have dropped monthly since August 2022 and appear to have stabilized in recent months at pre-pandemic norms. Still, towns need to carefully monitor revenues in the coming months to ascertain the impact of volatile economic factors such as increasing interest rates.”

Three towns saw more than a 65% decrease in figures in comparing the months from year to year.

The Town of Southampton, which continuously collects the most revenue, saw a 74.5% decrease in January 2023, taking in a mere $4.76 million as compared to the $14.55 million it received in 2022.

East Hampton Town’s revenues took a nosedive by 70.2%, despite some large sales, such as the oceanfront property at 51 West End Road selling for $39.5 million on January 28 (though it is always possible the sales CPF proceeds won’t be counted until the following month). East Hampton Town received $2.18 million in January 2023 as compared to $7.32 million a year earlier.

Southold Town experienced a 65.4% fall from $1.59 million in January 2022 to only $550,000 in January 2023.

Shelter Island Town, the smallest hamlet with the least revenue, saw numbers fall 26.7% from $550,000 to just $140,000.

Riverhead Town experienced the least change with a mere 5.9% decrease from $7.32 million in January 2022 to $2.18 million in January 2023.

Overall CPF Figures for 2022

In 2022, the CPF took in $172.63 million in revenue, a decrease of 18% over 2021. Still, it was the second-highest annual total for CPF revenue in the fund’s 24-year history. The previous year, 2021, produced the most.

“After a volatile Fall 2022, CPF revenues have stabilized in the last two months at about $11.8 million per month. These monthly revenues are below late 2020 and 2021, but higher than pre-pandemic levels,” Thiele said in a statement.

In 2022, the five East End towns took in $172.63 million, as compared to the 210.64 million generated in 2021 — still a large sum compared to the levels before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the years before.

In 2020, there was $139.42 million in total generated from the CPF. Before the pandemic began, in 2019, $77.88 million was taken in, showing a bit of a slowdown in the market at that time, since the fund generated $98.97 million in 2018 and $95.9 in 2017.

Since its inception in 1999, the fund has generated $1.982 billion.

Most of the five East End towns saw a decrease in overall revenue in 2022, except Riverhead, which experienced a 33.9% spike. Riverhead Town received $9.24 million last year, as compared to $6.9 million in 2021.

Thiele has attributed the increase, while other towns saw a decrease, to commercial sales and value. There seemed to be a flurry of activity in Riverhead and large sales. For instance, the third largest commercial sale of 2022 happened in Riverhead, where the 55,000-square-foot home to Hobby Lobby sold in July.

CPF, Hobby Lobby, Riverhead
The home of Hobby Lobby in Riverhead, located at 1414 Old Country Road, sold for $14,777,000 in July 2022.Taylor K. Vecsey

The Town of Shelter Island,where any change in sales feels like a significant impact, experienced the biggest drop in the CPF. In 2022, it received $2.85 million, down from $4.97 million in 2021.

Meanwhile, sales in East Hampton Town generated $52.44 million, a 21.5% decrease from the $66.77 million it took in during 2021.

Southampton Town, which always takes in the largest amount of money, received $94.97 million — still a huge figure, even if it is a 19.8% decrease over the previous year, when the town’s sales generated $118.38 million.

Lastly, the Town of Southold saw the smallest decrease, a 3.7% dip, from $13.62 million in 2021 to $13.11 million in 2022.

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