It's a debate that has been raging in New Jersey for more than half a century: should the cost of running beaches be paid for by local residents through their property taxes, or should beach badges be sold so only those who use the beach have to pay for its upkeep?
The latter opinion has been the one of choice at the Jersey Shore for many years, but which towns have the most expensive badges and which are among the cheapest? SEMGeeks, a digital marketing agency in Asbury Park, crunched the numbers are came up with the answers.
The cheapest beach is an easy one – Wildwood – because it is free.
On the low end of those beaches where badges are required are Cape May ($28), Ocean City ($25) Toms River (Ortley Beach) ($30) and Surf City ($30). In Monmouth County, the cheapest seasonal badge was in Long Branch, at $45, according to a SEMGeeks chart and newjerseyshore.com.
On the high end of seasonal badges are Spring Lake and Sea Girt, tied at $105 per season, and Deal and Sea Bright, both at $100 per season. Martell's, a privately-owned beach in Point Pleasant Beach, also has a $100 seasonal badge price. Neighboring Jenkinson's, another privately-owned beach in Point Pleasant Beach, sells a seasonal badge for $90.
Daily badges had a smaller gulf between most and least expensive. Sea Girt and Spring Lake both charge $10 for daily badges while several towns including Asbury Park, Ocean City, Ship Bottom and Beach Haven all charge $5 per day.