OCEAN CITY — City Council will conduct a public hearing Feb. 10 on its plan to increase the seasonal beach tag price by $5.

Charging $25 for seasonal tags this summer is expected to generate more than $500,000.

Last year, the city sold 125,000 seasonal tags, 59,000 weekly tags and 173,000 daily tags to raise $3.4 million for its beaches. Pre-season tags cost $15 at City Hall or at the city’s website with a $5 shipping fee.

Only the seasonal tag prices would be raised.

Not everyone on council supported the fee increase. Councilman Roy Wagner said he got calls from constituents in the 4th Ward saying they would visit the city’s state-owned beaches or go to beaches where tag-checking is less vigilant to avoid paying the fee.

“We have an example of demand being elastic. As the price goes up, the number you sell goes down,” Wagner said.

City Administrator Michael Dattilo said the increase matched what several other shore towns charge in New Jersey, keeping the prices competitive for Ocean City.

Councilwoman Karen Bergman, who supported raising the price on seasonal tags, said raising daily fees would do more harm to the island’s economy.

“If you were coming for the day, and you could save $5 per tag by going to Sea Isle, you would do that,” she said.

The city last raised the price of its beach tags in 2007.

Michael Miller

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