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Getting to Know the Community Preservation Fund


Learn about the East End’s Community Preservation Fund
Long Island has some of the most environmentally conscious residents that can be found anywhere in the world. No policy or proposal can perhaps represent this fact better than the almost unanimous support that has been given to the East End’s “Community Preservation Fund”. This fund, originally approved in 1998 and funded through a two percent tax real estate transfer tax, has continued to have had unprecedented support from the communities that it serves. With the fund’s dedication to purchasing farmland and wooded parcels in order to prevent further development on some of Long Island’s most delicate lands, it is no wonder that this fund has far beyond exceeded $1 billion and the protection of more than 10,000 acres during its 19 year existence

Most impressively, however, was the 2016 referendum that saw over 76 percent of voters in the five East End towns support the extension of the Community Preservation Fund’s mission to protecting water quality, along with open space and farmland, until 2050. Through this vote, residents enabled the fund to reserve 20 percent of all of its revenue for water quality initiatives. This translates into the allowance of an estimated $20 million annually or $700 million in total for water quality improvement projects throughout more than 40 percent of Suffolk County’s land! From helping to reduce runoff to working to defend natural habitats of vulnerable wildlife, the Community Preservation Fund can serve as a example of how the display of support for environmental efforts from local communities can guarantee a brighter (and cleaner) future for all. 

However, the time for citizen input in support of the Community Preservation Fund has not ended! The Community Preservation Fund is subject to annual independent audits and public hearings to ensure the appropriate use of funds for the betterment of the communities that you love. In order to ensure that open space and clean water is protected, residents in each of the five East End towns must remain engaged in the political process. From attending the hearings themselves to remaining in contact with public officials, the Community Preservation Fund relies on the actions of residents like you to help it pursue its mission! 

To learn more about the Community Preservation Fund, visit the LI Clean Water Partnership's page at http://www.longislandcleanwaterpartnership.org/CPF 

By: Ryan Wolf, Long Island Pine Barrens Society

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