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Jan 6, 2010 9:07 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

CPF revenues up in November, still down overall

Jan 6, 2010 9:07 AM

November was a good month for the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund, which is starting to show signs of real recovery in the aftermath of the recent housing bust: revenues were up 48 percent over what had been collected a year earlier, according to a press release issued Monday by State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

The latest numbers might be seen as a bellwether for the Hamptons real estate market and, by extension, the overall economy. But Mr. Thiele warned that the East End isn’t “out of the woods yet”—yearly data still places the Community Preservation Fund, or CPF, well below its previous revenue levels.

The fund collected $34.6 million between January and November of last year, compared to $53.5 million for the same time period in 2008, a decrease of 35.2 percent. The number of real estate transactions for the first 11 months of 2009 also registered a decline from the first 11 months of 2008, dipping from 5,822 transactions to 4,587.

But the CPF, which is fed by a 2-percent tax on most real estate transfers and is used to purchase and preserve open space and farmland, earned more in November 2009—$4.63 million—than it did in November 2008—$3.12 million—Mr. Thiele reported.

“Obviously, this is a very positive thing,” said Mary Wilson, the Southampton Town administrator for the CPF, who speculated that the latest increases may portend additional gains in the months to come.

Mr. Thiele said the November increase is not only a plus for open space but for the local real estate market, which has suffered since the financial markets melted and ground activity to a screeching halt. With Wall Street finances bouncing back, and federal and state government actions easing the way for first-time home buyers, the fund has been able to rebound.

“People are still concerned about what will happen in the dead of winter, whether the gains will drop off again,” Mr. Thiele said.

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How does government even get the chance to speculate. Simply take a CPF vacation in spending for say one fiscal quarter and only spend what you make in that quarter.
I'm in business and I don't get to spend what "might" come in next month.
Maybe the new board will wake up and spend only what we can instead of what we would like. It would be a real change for the better.
By Bob Schepps (77), Southampton on Jan 8, 10 6:51 PM