District 10 Lawmakers Sound Off on Beach Badge Increases to Offset Rising Wages
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) sounded off on the minimum wage increase and the detrimental impact its beginning to have on towns at the Jersey Shore. Over time wages will increase to $15 an hour and the legislators have long foreseen how towns at the Jersey Shore and seasonal businesses would take the first hit. As a result, Lavallette voted to raise beach badge fees for daily, weekly and seasonal badges to meet or exceed the minimum wage requirements.
Holzapfel, McGuckin and Catalano sounded off on the minimum wage increase and the detrimental impact its beginning to have on towns at the Jersey Shore. (WikiMediaCommons)
“We have always opposed the minimum wage hike that Governor Murphy singed into law last year and now we are seeing the beginning of a long ripple effect that will impact our shore economy for years to come,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “Lavallette is increasing their beach badge fees to offset these costs and attract more workers. We knew this was going to happen and it’s only a matter of time before small businesses increase costs and tourists start vacationing to other affordable destinations.”
“Lavallette may be the first in a long line of shore towns needing to raise badge fees in order to keep young seasonal workers from going elsewhere,” added Assemblyman McGuckin. “These towns will need to pay them a competitive wage otherwise they’ll lose them to supermarkets or coffee shop chains who can afford it. Eventually we’ll see the same issues arise at shops on the boardwalk, restaurants and bars. This is devastating to the Jersey Shore economy no matter how you slice it.”
The tourism industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in New Jersey and generates billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue. It is a vital source of income for the state and its residents.
“Vacationing with your family to the Jersey Shore has always been affordable getaway,” said Assemblyman Catalano. “This is not the way to keep or attract business owners, tourists, or new residents to our state especially when the Shore economy and its infrastructure are still recovering from Super Storm Sandy.”