After all five East End towns agreed last year to , officials announced last week that an advisory board was created to counsel all of the towns on future legal questions, to keep all five towns on the same page.
While the advisory board will offer non-binding opinions, each town will be represented on the board, which will be comprised of 11 members in total. One member will be chosen by the East End Mayors' Association, five will be nominated by town supervisors, and the other five will be chosen at large by Assemblyman Fred Thiele and state Sen. Ken LaValle, two original sponsors of the CPF legislation which was enacted in 1998.
A spokeswoman for Thiele said that letters seeking supervisors' nominations was sent out last Friday, with a Sept. 21 deadline.
"The Peconic Bay Region taxpayers and communities deserve to know that the
Fund is being implemented appropriately and consistently throughout the
region," Thiele said in a statement.
The advisory board was set up following statewide legislation passed in 2009, and inter-municipal agreements passed by each town in following years.
Though all working under the same state law, officials felt regularity was needed in its administration across several towns. Abuses had been noted in the past, specifically in East Hampton where funds had been used to offset costs in the town's highway and police departments.
The CPF is funded by a 2 percent real estate transfer tax, paid for by the buyer whenever parcels change hands on the East End. It expires at the end of 2030.
In East Hampton, Shelter Island and Southampton towns, the first $250,000 of the purchase price of an improved lot, and the first $100,000 of the price of a vacant lot, are exempt from the 2 percent tax. In Riverhead and Southold, the first $150,000 is exempt for an improved lot, and the first $75,000 is exempt for a vacant lot.