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Long Island community preservation fund income jumps 65%, likely buoyed by more incoming residents

house for sale sign
American Advisors Group

The pandemic contributed to the strengthening of a regional environmental fund in eastern Long Island last year. That could be because more people are moving to the Hamptons.

The Community Preservation Fund is supported by a 2% tax on real estate transactions in the five towns that make up eastern Long Island. In 2021, the tax on selling homes brought in about $200 million, a 65% increase in revenues over 2020.

Most of the money is generated by towns in the Hamptons, which state Assemblymember Fred Thiele represents.

“We've preserved more than 10,000 acres. We're also funding critical water quality improvement projects,” Thiele said. “It's been a resource that I think has helped to keep the East End, the community character — the thing that makes it special, not just for the environment.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the towns of Southampton and East Hampton became a safe haven for New York City residents who sought less densely populated, more spread out communities. More money in 2021 means more vacation homebuyers.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.