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Voice of the People, May 14, 2021

Voice of the People, May 14, 2021

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Cape May County tax is Wildwoods tax

Regarding the recent Press editorial, “Deliberation, caution merited on possible hike in Cape May room tax”:

For clarification purposes, I would like to point out an error in the editorial regarding Cape May City’s Occupancy Tax discussion. Cape May County does not charge a tourism tax nor an assessment tax. The “Cape May County Tax” mentioned is levied in the Wildwoods only and is not collected by the county nor does the county receive any funds from this tax.

The “Cape May County Tourism Tax” was named as such when the Wildwoods were authorized by the state of New Jersey to collect a tourism tax; this was before the Occupancy Tax was initiated. This tax is levied on overnight stays and other tourism related sales only in North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. The tax is returned to the Wildwoods to support the Convention Center and special events in those resorts. The name is a common misconception and has created confusion over the years.

The Occupancy Tax for any municipality in New Jersey cannot exceed 8%, the 5% mandated by the state and up to 3% that can be added by the municipality. The total tax collected in New Jersey, including the sales tax is capped and cannot exceed 14%. The Occupancy Tax rate is adjusted for those municipalities that have an added tourism tax, such as Atlantic City, Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth and the Wildwoods.

Diane F. Wieland

Cape May Court House

Director, Cape May County Department of Tourism

Mass transit for climate

Regarding the recent article, “America’s gas-fueled vehicles imperil Biden’s climate goals”:

The story makes a compelling argument about the feasibility of Joe Biden’s goal to halve America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The author suggests that the greatest barrier to achieving this goal is the sheer number of gas-powered vehicles in use today. While the article cites electric automobiles as the primary substitute to gas-powered transportation, it fails to take into account the immense emission-reduction potential of mass transit.

The United States should not only focus on automobiles but also on expanding other modes of transportation, particularly railroads. America must prioritize expanding its infrastructure past the highway and invest in both the electrification of existing railroads and the expansion of high-speed rail throughout the country. This will not only reduce pollution but will also create jobs and reduce congestion. Without providing a viable, convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to automobile travel, the United States will struggle to reduce tailpipe emissions enough to meet its emissions goals.

Hiba Ahmad


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