Archive for the 'Community Preservation Fund' Category

Closing Cost Guidelines 2017

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Town & Country provides this guide to estimate closing costs for you, for informational purposes only. Both Buyers and Sellers should receive Estimated Closing Costs from their respective attorneys prior to closing. Purchasers using a lending institution receive a Truth in Lending Statement from the lender. These are itemized lists of expenses. Request them as early as possible so that you can best prepare for closing.

One of the buyer’s greatest expense is the Peconic Transfer Tax. In November of 1998 voters overwhelmingly approved the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund or CPF. Later, in 2012, East End residents voted in all 5 towns, by a 2:1 vote, to extend the tax for an additional 10 years, thus extending the expiration date to 2022, with an additional extension to 2030. 

Since its inception in 1999 the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund has generated over $1Billion. These funds have enabled the 5 East End Towns to preserve open space, farmland, beaches, pine barrens, water recharge areas, wetlands, and even an island. In fact, some 10,000 acres through more than 600 acquisitions have been secured. An accomplishment we can all be proud of. The money collected is managed by the respective towns. In East Hampton and Southampton, the towns have borrowed against future fund revenue. While everyone agrees the objective of preserving the rural beauty and protect our natural resources should remain top priority, some have questioned the

fairness of existing property owners voting on taxes they don’t pay – a sensitive issue. Furthermore, the levels at which the Peconic Tax begins, have come under scrutiny. Back in 1998 you could possibly buy a starter home at $250,000 and a vacant lot at $100,000 on the South Fork and $150,000 and $75,000 respectively on the North Fork and Riverhead, but our values have come along way over the past 20 years. Yet this entry level has never been adjusted to reflect where markets have appreciated to.

2014 remains the year that the 5 East End Towns collected the greatest sum — $107.69M, eclipsing the previous high water mark set back in 2007 when $96.02M was received. Both were banner years for high end real estate sales according to Town & Country Home Sales Reports. Thank you to all the buyers who have footed the bill. The 5 East End Towns have preserved sensitive land and increased park lands for public enjoyment for generations to come. To view Home Sales Reports visit

On July 7, 2017, an exception was imposed for first time home buyers purchasing their primary residence. Eligible individuals must apply with Suffolk County. Your attorney can assist with this.

It is important to mention that there are some who confuse Peconic Land Trust with Peconic Bay Region Transfer Tax, referred to as Peconic Land Tax or CPF (Community Preservation Fund,) but they are vastly different. The Peconic Land Trust is 501 (c) (3) non profit organization established in 1983 by John v.H.Halsey and a group of East End residents with a focus on protecting Long Island’s heritage of farming. The trust does not share in the taxes collected. For more information visit


Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Peconic Land Trust recently said they would consider selling 14 acres on Highland Terrace in Bridgehampton if Southampton Town would buy the development rights with CPF money. This has created quite a brew ha ha amongst our local preservation community. The property in question was donated to the South Fork Land Foundation- which is now a subsidiary of the Peconic Land Trust back in the 1970’s. John v. Halsey, who founded the Peconic Land Trust and presides over the trust to date, has made this proposal with a vision for greater good.
John’s intention is to use the money from the sale of the 14 acres to purchase 60-100 acres of active farm land.
In concept, it seems a home run—swap 14 acres for up to 100 acres—but the mechanism to do so has divided the preservationists primarily because of the need for the funding of same via CPF money. This does raise an eyebrow.
Back in 1998 the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund was born. CPF as we refer to it is funded by a 2% tax on buyers of real property, or real estate. The 5 eastern townships benefited  by the protection of over 10,000 acres in 15 years while amassing $842,000,000.
That’s an incredible accomplishment that all of us have benefitted from.
Ironically, the public at times, confuses the Peconic Land Trust with the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund. Buyers think they have given to the Peconic Land Trust when they shell out all that money at closing.
There are 4 primary parties directly responsible for protecting the beauty and heritage of the East End. The first are the municipalities. The local comprehensive up zonings, which occurred twice during my 3 decades in the industry, helped by creating open space regulations, water recharge districts, scenic easements along roadways, agricultural overlay districts and so much more, before the last of all subdividable property was improved. Secondly, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund. Third The Peconic Land Trust and fourth the Nature Conservancy. Without the efforts of these entities the East End would look like every other over developed area. Thanks to them, any visitor clearly feels the farming heritage, the sea and the dark skies. 
Personally, I see these entities as preserving in different ways. The Peconic Land Trust has done a remarkable job of enabling all of us to step back in time and enjoy life on the East End as settlers did generations ago. Have you been to Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, or Quail Hill Farm in East Hampton or the Shellfisher on the North Fork… all remarkable and different, places you can go to reflect on where we came from.
The CPF money has protected corridors of farm land and taken special sites off the market forever so that we may enjoy nature at every turn.
The Nature Conservancy has taken their mission to places far beyond the immediate East End with an eye on preserving our natural resources.
And the municipalities… well their contribution is both seen and hidden in more places than you can imagine
Thank you all!
This is an ideal opportunity to take the time in a collaborative effort to become of one mind for the good of all the public.
There is a common thread and there is a resolution.


Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund, or CPF tax is a 2% tax charged to the purchaser of real property on the East End (over minimal levels) since it’s inception in 1998.
We have discussed the parameters of this tax and the ramifications many times in this T&C BLOG, so I won’t bore you with the details.
BIG NEWS on the CPF front is the first quarter deposits to the fund… nearly twice that of a year ago!
In the first 3 months of 2013, $20.23 Million was raised in comparison to the same period in 2012 when $10.5 Million was collected.
$800 Million dollars total in the past 15 years has been accumulated for the sole purpose of preserving the beauty and light here in our little slice of Heaven.
So the next time you are sitting at that long awaiting closing table, and have to write out yet one more check to the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund, you can smile knowing this one is truly going to a useful means of preserving the reason you chose to purchase on the East End—it’s natural beauty! 


Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

East Hampton Town Board voted unanimously on January 3rd—the first session of 2013—to purchase 2 parcels with CPF money. As you know CPF, Community Preservation Funds, is the kitty created by the 2% transfer tax on buyers of real property on the East End at below entry level prices.

The 11 acres in Springs was a subdivision off Neck Path owned by Julie Cochran. Neck Path is home to a considerable amount of preserved land, this 11 acres will add to that and preserve property in the highly sensitive water recharge area.

The second property owned by Barry Brown, backs on to 27 in Wainscott. It had been approved for 4 lots… fortunately we will not have 4 more lots accessing Montauk Highway at the entrance to East Hampton.

Both of significant value to future generations for different reasons!


Thursday, October 11th, 2012

The East Hampton Town Board voted unanimously to spend $385,000 in community preservation funds to purchase #8 Deer Path, a 1.1 acre parcel in Springs.

Open space is the intended use for this property.

Around the corner from this parcel is a building lot at the top of Three Mile Harbor Road, where the road makes a right angle turn to the south.. it is such a bad place that a few years back a young woman died in a car that didn’t navigate the turn properly.

I have personally called and written to EHT Board about purchasing this parcel so no one builds on it.. I can’t imagine what it would be like to try to enter & exit a driveway on this deadly turn.. and still no reply???

It’s MUCH less expensive than Deer Path and could save more lives to come

Town & Country would donate our entire commission to get this done!

I hope someone’s listening out there!


Friday, October 7th, 2011

.. I was delighted to have experienced the Peconic Land Trust Common Table in Amagansett this past Sunday. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful event for a great cause… the stars all lined up.

Community Preservation Fund Used to Purchase More Land!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

East Hampton Town’s latest land aquisition is a 26.7 acre parcel off of Route 114 behind the Jewish Cemetary and abutting Sag Harbor Village. It is a wooded site and is part of the Pine Barrens and Ground Water Protection area. The land is continuous with other preserved land and has converging trails.


Tuesday, July 19th, 2011



Southampton Town Board approved the purchase of 3 separate holdings. The largest of the acquisitions was a $7.5M for the development rights to farmland in North Sea we call the Lands of Corwith. It is a 50 +/- acre tract of land north of the highway on David Whites Lane. Such a purchase of development rights is the best of both worlds… the farmer gets to continue to farm the land—and we get to continue to watch while they do—and yet they are restricted from developing said property.. a win-win for all!

A 8.2 acre parcel along East Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays will be purchased outright for $1.1M. Any time we preserve vacant land along the major access roads on the East End it’s a gift to all of us. As we then get to enjoy the rural corridors that have existed for hundreds of years and is the essence of the beauty of the tips of Long Island.

The third and final acquisition was of 7 acres that were slated for subdivision in Quiogue along Aspatuck Creek owned by Oakland Farms Inc for $1.1M!

The East End is better for all three acquisitions!


Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

While much of the country is in a deep real estate recession, the Eastern End of Long Island has seen an uptick in gross sales which in turn affects the 2% Peconic Land Tax as well as other transfer taxes.

This particular tax was born in the late 90’s to fund the purchase of land for preservation. A great concept at the most perfect time….it was a race against losing our rural aesthetic beauty. Nearly $700 million dollars in total have been collected and put to good use in preserving over 6000 acres.

The 2% tax is paid at the closing, usually by the buyer. The first $150,000 of sale price is excluded on the North Fork & Riverhead and $250,000 on the South Fork. Many have argued the baseline amount should rise & fall with market values but that never happened.

Thus far in 2011 the collections by township have been as follows: $16.7M from Southampton, $5M from East Hampton, $1.3M from the North Fork, $790,000 from Riverhead & $390,000 from Shelter Island.

Thank you to all who continue to assist in the efforts of our local municipalities to preserve our way of life!

MC CALL VINEYARDS – NORTH FORK- GOES GREEN: LIPA and GreenLogic Energy Bring Wind Power to McCall Wines

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Russell McCall is a great North Forker. Russ is an entrepreneuer at heart – started Atlanta Foods in 1967, but always remained a loyal North Forker: his Great Grandfather Russell Walker already maintained a fishing cabin at the South End of Downs Creek in Mattituck.

McCall, member of the President’s Council of  the Peconic Land Trust was instrumental in establishing the gift  to the Town of Southold of Fort Corchaug Preserve  , helping preserve one most precious ecologies in the Eastern US around Downs Creek in Mattituck. Anyone who has ever witnessed the Autumn and Spring Bird Migration along Downs Creek will agree. In 1999 McCall further helped the conservation of  the North Fork farming tradition by planting 20 acres of Pinot Noir and Merlot, starting McCall Vineyards.

McCall recently opened his winery – in a beautifully restored barn  "with woodworking skills as if the barn was a piece of furniture" in presence of a North Fork who’se who of friends and acquaintances who had been a part of Russ McCall’s entrepreneurial activities on the North Fork.

 Towering above the vineyard is another example of McCall’s forward thinking mindset-  a windmill, churning and producing green electricity for his farm – a project he started with Green Logic and LIPA. And along the way helping the Town of Southold set standards for windmills on the North Fork.


The "North Fork Sound Stage" where Russ and his son John did a jam session and thanked the crowd before digging into a Gaucho Style "Parrila" style barbeque – sorry if the image seems blurry – after a few glasses of Russ’s delicious Pinot Noir Rose.

McCall’s wines can be savoured at Adam Lovett and Tom Chaudel’s  "A MANO RESTAURANT"  one of my favourite spots in Mattituck to taste local wines and eat local foods and hang out or get to know some local North Forkers or visting Manhattanites alike – a really great crowd.. Don’t forget to try the individual pizza’s, Truffles and Mushrooms is my favorite.

Some vineyards and farms are still for sale on the North Fork – with current interest rates at historical lows an interesting investment opportunity. Call Town and Country Real Estate to discuss the possibilities of investing in the North Fork and learn about the sale of development rights to help make a farm purchase feasible for buyers and save farmland for the North Fork in perpetuity.