90% of towns with beaches are small, and the majority of their revenue comes from tourism. That being said, they can't tax the death out of the people who live there, or no one would ever be there...
In NJ, the government doesn't give any money to the towns, for tourism, so anyone who works at the beach is paid by the town themself. So that money comes out of the beach tags.
"But why don't they just not have anyone working there? then they don't have to charge us"
-I guess you'd like going to a beach that has more trash than sand on it?
I'm not gonna ****ing lie. NJ has some nice beaches for the amount of trash that comes to it. Yes you NYC and northern NJ bennies who come and trash it. When you bring food to the beach, throw your trash in the trash can, they are there for a reason.
Life guards are nice. "But I can swim" some people can't, and its not the fact that you can't swim, if your board hits you in the head and you're unconscious, they're there for a reason. They get paid out f the tag fund.
All this being said, paying to park sucks. And the price of tags could be less. But the town needs money for all its employees too, and taxing everyone to death won't do.