Every New Jerseyan Has Stake In Shore Rebuilding [AUDIO]
Even if you never go to the beach, the rebuilding of the New Jersey shore and its boardwalk businesses is directly related to how much you will pay in taxes.
Testifying before the Assembly Commerce Committee, Belmar mayor Matt Doherty clued in the members about how dependent the state is on its tourism industry.
"Just to give you an idea what tourism means to Belmar, last year, we had a little under 1 million visitors to the Belmar boardwalk which generated beach tag revenue of a little over $3 million," explains Doherty. "Over 2,500 people are directly employed by tourism annually in Belmar. All local businesses depend on summer visitors to remain in business. Belmar has over 150 businesses."
All oceanfront concessions, restaurants and businesses in Belmar were destroyed by super-storm Sandy.
Doherty explains, "Just to give you an idea how important tourism is, if New Jersey and Monmouth County did not have a tourism industry every household would need to pay an additional $1,380 per year in taxes to replace the tourism taxes received by State government."
If there is no Jersey shore beachfront by this summer, business owners will lose multiple seasons of business. Doherty says to lose a season's worth of income is the equivalent of losing a year's worth of income. That drains the state's coffers because no income means to income tax collections.
Doherty says he's doing everything he can to make sure his town is completely open for business this summer. He explains, "Belmar has had a boardwalk since 1875 and we're committed to having one in 2013 as well."