Here it comes – the yearly debate over whether or not our beaches should be free for all to enjoy.

I’ve read a number of pieces yesterday stating how the upkeep of beaches, the cost of lifeguards and all that costs money – and how we as citizens aren’t paying a “beach tax” out of general funds to go towards the upkeep of beaches.

Still there are plenty of other states with shorelines that aren’t charging for the use of the beach – and even here in our own midst, some of the beaches are free.

So, should all beaches in New Jersey be free?

New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty is one legislator who wants to see free NJ beaches and is sponsoring a bill to make it so. Doherty also wrote an opinion piece on it this weekend.

On paper his idea seems to make sense. But knowing the fiscal hole the state is in, with 800 million dollars yet to be found to fund the upcoming budget, is the Senator’s plan workable? You might say that some other expenses need to be trimmed in order to fill the budget gap, but it still doesn't answer the question of getting rid of beach fees.

I agree in principal that the beaches should be free – but in order to keep them as pristine as we’d like them to be, the money has to come from somewhere. And unfortunately, it's going to come out of your pocket, one way or another.

In short, I’m not sure Senator Doherty’s proposal has a chance.