This is like adding insult to injury. It's bad enough that we have to pay to go on the beach in New Jersey. Now they tell us they're raising the badge fees due to the increase in the minimum wage.

What's also sad about this is that those people who earn minimum wage and could use the beach as a welcome relief can't afford to go on it. Welcome to New Jersey.

We've been so beaten down and used to the beach tag fees that we don't even complain about them anymore and we should. These beaches are cash cows for the towns they are in, not to mention the parking fees, which could be a whole other article.

There are those who say they need the money to maintain the beach. To them I say, show me the books. Let's see how much these towns are taking in versus what they are spending. If you checked them out yourself, you'd be surprised at what you'd see.

If they're really only using the money to pay to maintain the beach, then why not have a tote board over every badge purchase station and website. When they reach that number, stop charging. It'll never happen. What will continue to happen is that we'll keep paying in New Jersey to use the beach while other states get it for free.

It's those states that many New Jerseyans are flocking to as they leave here in droves. Those of us that are staying in New Jersey shouldn't be accepting this. When you think about what you're spending for a day at the shore between paying to park and buying beach tags for you and your family, you're probably around $100 before you even put your blanket down on the sand. Do that a couple of days a week and you'll find it's cheaper to buy a pool. Better yet, make a friend with someone who owns a pool and offer to bring food. In New Jersey, we never go empty-handed.

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