Wildwood mayor not concerned about competition if others are forced to drop beach tag fees

A proposal in the New Jersey Legislature wants to force towns to eliminate beach tag fees in return for getting state or federal dollars to rebuild what Sandy destroyed.

One town without beach tags isn’t worried about any increased competition if suddenly more towns have free access to the sand.

Wildwood New Jersey Mayor Ernie Troiano says his town has something many of the others don’t — day and nighttime entertainment.

“We’re like a two-pronged attack, we’re going to get you during the daytime on the beach and the nighttime on the boardwalk, that’s what people come down for, they make a complete day out of it, or they make it a couple of days or a couple of weeks, or the season,” said Troiano.

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Troiano says it costs $1 million a year to guard and maintain Wildwood’s beaches, and other towns might have to raise taxes to cover that expense.

“A million dollars is close to 10 cents on the tax dollar,” said Troiano. “Do the math if you have a $300,000 home and you are assessed for x number of dollars it could be three four five hundred dollars.”

Many shore mayors are vowing to fight to keep beach tag fees, saying they already are facing huge post-Sandy bills without having to cope with a loss of revenue.


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