by Suffolk County Clerk Judy Pascale
COUNTY CLERK RELEASES 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
Suffolk County Clerk Judy Pascale released the 2016 Annual Report highlighting increases in both production and revenue. According to the report, the total revenue in the County Clerk’s Office increased by 5% to $361,084,676.83.
“Over the last year we have seen a slight increase in real estate activity in western Suffolk County but a slight decrease in sale prices on the East End. Along with a reduction in new foreclosure cases, there’s hope that Suffolk’s real estate market will continue to strengthen,” stated County Clerk Pascale.
The largest increases in revenue were generated from the New York State Mortgage Tax. Mortgage Tax collections increased by 9% to $126,548,478 in 2016. The impact this revenue increase affects us both locally and in Albany, since roughly half of the collected Mortgage Tax is distributed to Suffolk’s towns and villages, and the other half to the State. Mortgage Tax collections increased overall for all of Suffolk’s ten towns. Suffolk’s western towns realized the greatest increases in Mortgage Tax collection: Brookhaven 14%, Babylon 11%, Smithtown %11, Smithtown 11% and Huntington 10%.
New York State Transfer Tax, a .25% tax on the sale price of homes, totaled $70,483,593.31 in 2016, a decrease of 11%. Also, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Tax, a 2% tax on the sale price of homes in Suffolk’s five East End towns, decreased by 6.5% to $93,767,152 in 2016. While the overall number of transfers on the East End changed very little between 2015 and 2016, the purchase prices decreased enough to see significant drops in the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Tax and the New York State Transfer Tax.
Revenue and activity decreased significantly with Supreme Court filings. Supreme Court cases, which include foreclosures, divorces, and other significant lawsuits, decreased by 8% to 32,535. While Judgments of Foreclosure doubled to 4,856, as a result of the court pushing through cases that may be over five years old, newly filed foreclosure cases saw the most significant decrease, by nearly 24%. Additionally, Judgements of Divorce and Separation Agreements jumped by 30% to 4,082.
“Property transfers continue to increase year over year as well as mortgage financing. Many have attributed the decline in values on the East End to the presidential election, so the hope is we’ll see the increases we’ve been accustomed to seeing. And with the continued reduction in new foreclosure cases being filed in Suffolk County, I’m confident we’ll see continued growth in the real estate market in years to come,” concluded Pascale.