Two Hamptons Taxes: Community Housing vs. Community Preservation

Land Preservation and Affordable Housing - two town taxes - on a Wooden Seesaw Scale Sitting Balancing
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If you buy property in the Hamptons, you’ll have to, in addition to the sale price, pay two separate town taxes.

One is a 2 1/2% tax so the towns can buy empty lots and save them as open space never to be built on. The other is a new 1/4% tax so the towns can buy empty lots and build affordable housing on them. From a certain perspective, these taxes contradict one another.

However, they do not cancel each other out. Since the saving of the lots tax is so much higher than the build on the lots tax, the community will still be preserving more than it is developing.

For development to catch up, the 1/4% tax needs to increase. If we had 2 1/2% for and 2 1/2% against, the Hamptons would be fighting itself to a standstill. The community would creak and groan and come stumbling to a halt. There would be battles in the streets.

As it happens, however, this measly 1/4% affordable housing money, already totaling more than a million, is just piling up unused. The not-in-my-backyard people are alive and well.

We’ll probably wind up spending it on a single 200-story apartment building skyscraper rising on the only single acre lot that will have it.

Where? I have no idea.