As the City Council in Ocean City takes the first step at Thursday’s meeting toward increasing the cost of beach tags, the mayors of the Wildwoods also are considering ways to increase revenues including beach fees.

The Ocean City council will take its first vote on an ordinance that would increase the cost of seasonal beach tags by $10 for the 2023 summer season.

  • Seasonal tags would go from $20 to $30 if purchased before May 31 and from $25 to $35 if purchased starting June 1
  • Daily tags would cost $10, up from $5
  • Weekly tags would increase from $10 to $20

Council President Pete Madden

Beach tags finally coming to Wildwood?

It's those increased costs that have led the mayors of Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest to discuss their options to increase revenues and manage costs for the summer of 2023.

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"Take lifeguards, for instance. In 2018 and 2019, we were paying them $8 and $9 an hour. It's now $17 an hour. Class Two police officers the same thing and the guys cleaning the beach. Just everything has just absolutely skyrocketed," North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello told New Jersey 101.5.

Tourism tax increase eyed

All three towns collect a 2% tourism tax but their beaches are free. Rosenello said that while the tourism tax is easier to collect, an increase would involve the state Legislature. The municipalities could implement beach fees on their own making it the most viable option.

"It may end up being the only path available to us if the idea of an increase in the tourism tax can't get accomplished. We would like to have something in place by next year but I don't know that that's going to happen," Rosenello said.

"It is a lot easier to collect the tourism tax than it is to collect beach fees, quite frankly. So we're looking at all of our options to try to cover more of our expenses with user fees and not property taxes," Rosenello said.

The Wildwoods considered a beach fee in 2021 but it never got beyond the discussion stage

NJ beach tags guide for summer 2022

We're coming up on another summer at the Jersey Shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we're running down how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach tags will cost you, and the pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

CHECK OUT: All the free beaches in New Jersey

The Jersey Shore is notorious for charging for access to the beaches. But there are a few that let you get in for free.

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