OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) – Ocean City is raising the price of its seasonal beach badges to $25 this summer, up from $20 last year.

But even with the increase, that ranks among the cheapest seasonal rates at the Jersey shore.

The higher fee, approved Thursday, is aimed at generating a half-million additional dollars to help the popular South Jersey resort town avoid a bigger property tax increase this year.

City officials say that without the additional beach fees, taxpayers would face a 3.5 percent increase in the municipal purpose portion of their property taxes instead of the 2.5 percent increase currently proposed.

Season badges bought before March 2 will cost $20, up from last year’s pre-season rate of $15.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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