During the month of January, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund brought in $8.37 million, officially surpassing the $1 billion mark for total revenue collected since the inception of the CPF.
The CPF is funded through a 2% transfer tax when property changes hands. Each of the five East End towns maintains a fund, and the revenues are disbursed to purchase development rights, open space and parkland, and to maintain CPF-preserved properties.
“The Community Preservation Fund, in passing the $1 billion mark, has exceeded all expectations its creators envisioned when it was enacted in 1998,” said New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, of Sag Harbor. “The true measure of its success is not the level of revenue, but the more than 10,000 acres that have been protected across the East End. Protecting community character has not only secured the rural character and historic sense of place in our communities, but it has secured our traditional economic basis of farming, fishing, tourism, and second homes. The East End continues to be an attractive place for people to visit and live because the CPF has insured that conservation could keep place with development. The things that make our East End home special, like historic villages, farms, bays, and beaches still exist and thrive. Our economy is our environment.”
The Billion Dollar Bash, a celebration of the achievement, is planned Thursday, March 5, at 5 p.m. at Suffolk Theater in Riverhead. Those who worked to create and administer the CPF will reminisce on what it took to create the fund.