File photo: Peter Blasl

Real estate transfer tax revenues in 2017 reached the fourth highest total in the 19-year history of the program, Assemblyman Fred Thiele announced this week.

The 2-percent transfer tax funds the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund. The CPF is a dedicated fund for land preservation and water quality protection. The tax produced $95.9 million in revenue in 2017, a 2.3 percent increase over 2016. It’s generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue since its inception in 1999, Thiele said.

CPF revenue in Riverhead was $3.67 million last year, up 8.3 percent over 2016. It was the biggest percentage increase in the five East End towns, though its total revenue is second-lowest of any of the five towns.

Southold’s CPF revenues in 2017 at $7.16 million increased 7.3 percent over 2016.

Southampton Town collected $56.41 million, up 3 percent over 2016. East Hampton had CPF revenues of $26.65 million last year, which was basically flat compared with the year before.

“Real estate sales on the East End were strong in 2017,” Thiele said.

“In 2018, local government should closely monitor CPF revenues,” he said. “The new federal ‘Tax Cut and Jobs Act’ took effect in January. Of particular interest are the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes and the changes in the mortgage interest deduction for new mortgages by reducing the mortgage debt deductibility limit from $1 million to $750,000.”

Thiele authored the legislation that created the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund by voter referendum in 1998.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.