Volusia commissioner proposing $30 out-of-towner beach parking

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Driving on the beach in Volusia County could get six times more expensive if one county commissioner's plan gets approved.

Commissioner Josh Wagner is proposing an increase in beach tolls for out-of-county tourists.

The tolls would increase from $5 to $30, with some incentives like a gift card for use at local businesses to reward tourists staying overnight.

Right now, the tolls generate $3 million of the county's $7.2 million beach budget.

Wagner said it will be good for taxpayers who he said are footing the bill to run the beach.

Out-of-towners were not happy to hear about the toll hike.

A $25 increase in beach tolls is a lot to consider. Wagner said leaders must find a way to pay the beach budget, which covers operations such as lifeguards, beach cleanup and maintenance.

"You could raise it a hundred percent to $10. I think people would pay that, but $30 is a little outrageous," said a visitor from New York.

Beach tolls, which are $5 per car, have been at that level since the 1990s, when the cost of running the beach was cheaper.