Thiele: Community Preservation Funds decline for 11 months of 2022

As is typical, money coming into local coffers of the five East End town to their Community Preservation Fund accounts lags the calendar by a few months. But because of the cyber attack on Suffolk County government records, the information of totals for the months of September, October and November are only being released now, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) 

As of the end of August, the town-by-town tallies showed a downturn in CPF revenues in four of the five East End towns with only Riverhead showing a 26 percent increase.

Southold’s decline was the least at 3.5 percent. Shelter Island was the highest decline for those first eight months of 2022 at a 38.9 drop.

Southampton CPF revenues were down by 20.7 percent and East Hampton’s decline was by 17.7 percent.

Town-by-town revenues for September, October and November are not yet available, but totals show the CPF generated $2.05 million in September, $7.24 million in October and $11.8 million in November for a three-month total of $21.1 million. Comparatively, for the same three months of 2021 the CPF had generated $50.3 million.

With the monthly report for December revenues still outstanding released, Mr. Thiele said the CPF revenues for the first 11 months of 2022 were down by 17.6 percent.

The assemblyman wrote the legislation that was passed in 1998 with revenues first hitting local communities in 1999.

He just reported totals showing revenues in the five East End towns of $160.78 million for the first 11 months of 2022. Revenues are generated from real estate transfer taxes paid by property purchasers.

The income reaching the coffers in the five East End towns was down during the first 11 months of 2022 from $195.05 million that came in for the months in 2021. At that time,  the real estate market was thriving as so many people were buying East End properties to escape crowded cities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The impact of the Suffolk County cyber attack clouds the ability to make relevant month-to-month comparisons,” Mr. Thiele said. “Regardless, there can be no doubt that there has been a significant cooling of real estate activities on the East End in the last few months,” he said. Whether it is the “inevitable bursting of the COVID-19 market bubble, increased interest rates, stock market declines during 2022 or predictions of a coming recession, or some combination of these factors, the conclusion must be that there has been a clear reduction in CPF revenues over the last three months,” Mr. Thiele said.