Proposition One in all five East End towns asks voters if they want to extend the life of the voter-approved two-percent real estate transfer tax from its current 2030 expiration date to 2050. The money raised through this tax now goes into the Community Preservation Fund and can be used to purchase open space or farmland development rights. The same proposition includes a provision that, if the CPF extension is approved, towns will be able to use up to 20 percent of the money raised to fund water quality improvement projects immediately..
The CPF proposition will be located on the back of the paper ballot.
The towns vote independently on the CPF proposition. If, for example, one town out of the five votes it down, the tax will expire in 2030 in that town, and the town won’t be able to use any of the CPF money to fund water quality improvement projects. In towns that vote to extend the tax, it will expire in 2050, and until then, up to 20 percent of the funds will be available for water quality projects.
Voters first approved the CPF in all five East End towns in 1998, at which time the tax was slated to run until 2020.
In 2006, voters in all five East End towns voted to extend the CPF expiration date to 2030.
In the towns of Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island, when land is transferred, the first $250,000 of the sales price is exempt from the CPF tax. In the towns of Riverhead and Southold, the first $150,000 of the sales price is exempt.
To date, more than $1.1 billion has been raised by the CPF and more than 20,000 acres of land have been preserved by it.
The towns of Southampton and East Hampton have raised far more money from the tax than have the other East End towns. Riverhead has raised just over $53 million since 1998, Southold about $76 million and Shelter Island about $25 million. In contrast, Southampton Town has generated more than $700 million and East Hampton more than $334 million through August of this year, according to officials.