Cape May City increases beach tag fees - NBC40.net

Cape May City increases beach tag fees

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CAPE MAY -

The battle over beach tags continues throughout New Jersey, and that's no different here in South Jersey where Cape May officials have decided to increase beach tag fees.

During the summer months South Jersey beaches are packed with tourists enjoying the sun and the sand.

But what many don't realize is that keeping those visitors safe is one of the most important duties of those in charge of the tourist town, and for most destinations the money to do so comes from a small token called a beach tag.

"It pays for lifeguards, and to keep the beaches clean so I wouldn't disapprove," said Cape May resident, Howard Eshleman.

Howard Eshleman is referring to an increase in beach tag fees for the city of Cape May.

City officials decided to raise the fees anywhere from one to three dollars depending on when it is sold, and what type of tag is purchased.

"We have changed the prices in other years and we felt that this year a modest increase in the price of the tags was needed to continue with a balanced budget position that would allow us to clear our beaches which we do everyday during the summer season," said City Manager, Bruce Macleod.

However Cape May isn't the only beach side resort considering the idea of raising fees.

Both Margate and Ventnor are in talks and even Wildwood, which is known as a free beach is considering the idea of adding tags. But that isn't sitting well with some residents.

"It's the only beach in the area that does not have beach tags and people come down here mainly for that reason," said Wildwood resident, Vince Wieckowski.

All of this talk comes at the same time two State Lawmakers are creating a bill that would ban beach tags in any city that accepted state funding from Hurricane Sandy.

"There is an alignment in all of the beach communities along the coast that sell and offer beach tags. We are not in support of that legislation," said Macleod.

Officials in the beach towns say unless it is put into law they are preparing for the 2013 summer season as usual.

Cape May officials say the beach tag increase will generate $125,000 worth of extra revenue for the city.

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