Thanks Gannett, for the kick in the teeth #STTS

Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com

Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com


As if the weather wasn’t a damper enough to the Jersey Shore kickoff that Superstorm Sandy ravished businesses, their employees and  shore area municipalities desperately need, the shore’s biggest newspaper, and its most popular columnist/blogger are working against us too.

The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board (formerly known here as the Neptune Nudniks, a title we retired the day before Sandy hit, but are tempted to bring back after today’s doozy), opines today that Governor Christie should issue an Executive Order doing away with beach badge sales.

What is really insulting, is that the APP blatantly show how ignorant they are about the New Jersey economy, our tax structure and the cost allocation of our various governments.

There is another logical reason for making the beaches free: revitalizing the Shore economy. What better extra inducement to get people to come to the Jersey Shore? Free beaches could mean millions of dollars in additional revenues for towns. More money spent in restaurants and bars, on summer rentals and motel stays, on souvenirs, on gasoline. For some families, beach fees are prohibitive. For a family of four, they can run $40 or more. That kind of expense can make the difference between going to the beach or staying home. Or between going once or twice a summer instead of several times during the season.

Doing away with beach badges would be a logical thing to do if it would bring revenues to shore towns. Duh!  Why didn’t the mayors think of that!?

Obviously, the APP doesn’t know that shore towns don’t share in the sales tax revenue that beach goers spend at bars, restaurants and gift shops.  That money goes to the State.

Beach tag sales fund lifeguards, auxiliary police shore towns must hire to keep the peace in the summer, beach clean up, etc.  Basically, the cost of hosting a beach.

Columnist/blogger Bob Ingle ignorantly shoots from the hip and says beach badges are a partisan issue.

But a lot of these Shore towns are run by his (Governor Christie’s) Republicans buddies and they will fight to keep them.

Sea Bright, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Belmar, Spring Lake, Manasquan all have Democratic mayors. Safe, clean beaches is not a partisan issue.

To boost his uninformed argument, Ingle links to a Washington Post article about all the business the Jersey Shore is losing to Delaware, because of Sandy.   Beach badges are not talked about in the WaPo article.  If you only read Ingle’s post, you would think former Jersey Shore vacationers are fleeing to Delaware because of beach badges. They’re not. They are going to Delaware because they think the Jersey Shore is not ready to welcome them. A perception we are spending $25 million to correct.

The APP Editorial Board and Ingle would have beach safety, policing and clean up funded by property taxes.  That is the only other way that municipalities can generate revenue.  Is it fair to the 6,000 residents of Belmar to pay millions more in property taxes for safe, free beaches, while the State gets all of the sales tax revenue?

Given the popularity of the Jersey Shore as a vacation destination and given how long beach badges have been funding beach safety and cleanliness (at least 45 years by my recollection) there is little evidence that beach badge sales don’t work or that they keep people away.

I’m all for funding beaches another way, but let’s figure that out before we cut safe beach funding for this year, as the APP calls for.   Before Ingle and the APP Editorial Board go off half cocked, the should do some research or read MoreMonmouthMusings’ research.

In the meantime, the Jersey Shore is Stronger than Gannett.

Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: #STTS, Asbury Park Press, Beach Access, Belmar, Bob Ingle, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Neptune Nudniks, Superstorm Sandy, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

9 Comments on “Thanks Gannett, for the kick in the teeth #STTS”

  1. Chris said at 5:37 pm on May 24th, 2013:

    How do towns in Delaware (or Florida) pay for lifeguards and beach cleanup?

  2. Seth Grossman said at 7:40 pm on May 24th, 2013:

    Don’t shoot the messenger. Of course beach badges chase tourists away. NJ charges $13 for the bridges and tunnels. We have extra taxes on plane landings and rental cars. We have tolls on our few good roads, and lousy roads with no tolls. We have high parking fees at the shore, plus a 7% sales tax, plus 6% double sales tax on hotel and motel rooms, plus a $2 parking tax and luxury tax at the casinos. And meals and everything else are more expensive in NJ because every business has to pay a fortune for business tax, real estate tax, and permits. All of the above are chasing tourists away. Enough! This is why I’m running for Governor against Christie. And Art, I do want to pay my fair share for posting here. Please tell me how your system works. Thanks.

  3. It's called a user fee! said at 1:50 pm on May 25th, 2013:

    Until and unless the chickens in the legislature finally pry themselves away from their mirrors and campaign kitties, and really come up with an honest and more fair way of funding our expensive schools, public facilities and infrastructure, including our beaches, we will remin the same, ever- increasing demands with ever- decreasing producers to pay for it.. Therefore, as a lifelong Shore resident, I have no problem at all saying or my badges to get clean, protected, and lovely,relaxing beaches.. Face it: people are pigs- especially when it doesn’t belong go them,and nothing is “free “- how dare that rag take it’s usual maudlin, saccharine,looney- lib mentality, (especially given all the devastation so many are killing themselves to fix), and demand a”free” anything, at this point: another typically greedy, ignorant rant,from a sad and sick waste of a paper! Am going down this weekend to proudly buy my 2013 badge, because ,more than ever, yes, APP,they really do need the money!

  4. Mike Harmon said at 3:20 pm on May 25th, 2013:

    Providing access to our beaches and waterfront is smart and good for Monmouth. It is one of the reasons we all live here.

    The recent obsession with “user fees” (read taxes called something else) has reached new heights of stupidity.

    Just more friction, more red tape, more government employees exerting control, making rules, monitoring, collecting fees and mostly expanding their pensions.

    Under 21, I think beaches should be free (period).

    I think paying for parking and accessing a clean beach with life guards may not be optimal but reasonable under the NJ circumstances. It is not reasonable to have shore towns assume the expense burden of providing lifeguards, extra police, bathrooms, cleaning the beach etc.

    Newark will not chip in for our beaches but next time you go to the airport see how much the “users” pay Newark in taxes to park.

    What I have a problem with is towns that effectively shutdown unguarded beaches by absurd Memorial to Labor Day parking bans or by deeding away street ends effectively denying beach access. Of course these tricks are nationwide but hatched here in NJ.

    I also question the unaccountable Sandy Hook management policy of having a free? beach but a confiscatory $15 parking fee. They are also notorious for closing beaches and park areas to the public that owns them. They take the crowd control (cow pen) approach to the public just on a larger scale.

    So if I want to go take a cast or my kids want to surf on a non-beach day (like today), we have to pay $15 (that is nuts). Except for July, it creates an underutilized and under-appreciated asset, probably 5 out of 7 days a week.

  5. Does Don Quixote said at 4:15 pm on May 25th, 2013:

    AKA Seth Grossman have enough money to buy campaign ads? After all, he’s barely raised $5000 or so for his campaign.

  6. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Where’s the fleece? #STTS said at 5:41 am on May 26th, 2013:

    […] No one complained about beach badges. […]

  7. With all due respect, said at 11:55 am on May 26th, 2013:

    Commissioner Mike, did not realize how liberal your views seem to be.. Ever check out the condition of Sandy Hook beaches on a hot day in the summer at, say, 5 pm? .. After the masses have left, leaving tons of food, plastics, used diapers, etc., behind for someone else to clean up? .. those “free” beaches generate lots of taxpayer- funded people to clean up after the slobs, (primarily for health reasons, besides general aesthetic ones), who apparently never were taught the postulate of leaving a place just a little bit better than how you found it.. if those beaches are to remain “free”,then perhaps an even larger “confiscatory” parking fee is warranted,to even try and keep up with the filth and disrespect some visitors show every year at our Shore.. Sure, we need their tourism dollars to survive in this economy: but, what we never need is human pigs leaving a blight on our natural beauty behind them,as they tear around on their holidays.. So, again, sign me up for my badge, I have a little reclaimed wood box with shells on it that proudly holds many years of old beach badges as tokens of great, clean,relaxing times,in the places we love best..

  8. Keansburg Girl said at 11:15 am on May 28th, 2013:

    If you really have a problem with beach badges come here to Keansburg. Free beaches all the time. Rides and attractions, nonstop action. Everything you need for your summer enjoyment w/o the hassles. @Exit 117 GSP

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