Evolution of Brigantine Beach Real Estate Economy

Brigantine Real Estate Taxpayers Andy Simpson
Brigantine Homeowners Being Forced Out

Like many Jersey shore communities before us, Brigantine Beach continues it’s slow and steady evolution from quiet coastal town to thriving tourist destination. You can see examples of this transformation as small bungalows get sandwiched between majestic, 3 story palaces.

Some hate this while others have no opinion. Some love the change because of potential profit from Real Estate transactions, home building, repair and land development.

When the Borgata Casino broke ground and the AC Connector tunnel was started, Brigantine quickly spawned a new breed of Real Estate mogul. They made millions. Good for them. Local residents cashed out. Good for them. Most hotels & motels went condo and let the owners retire in style. Good for them.

Everybody in Brigantine seemed to be a licensed real estate agent too. Why not? Everybody was in the market to buy or sell. Brigantine, like other hot markets, enjoyed the irrational exuberance. Good for them too.

As hardcore capitalists, we like when people make money. But there’s a price to be paid for high volumes of real estate buying & selling, insider speculation and land development. One tiny little mistake Brigantine made was letting all of our motels go condo. That clearly hurt our once robust day tripper & weekend tourism trade.

Brigantine’s evolution & re-invention got cranked up recently.

Some say that Brigantine’s re-invention became official with the recent election. After 110 years of one party rule, local (mostly conservative) voters decided it was time to shake things up and elect a new majority. ‘Gasp. Oh, the horror’ some shrieked.

No matter what your political affiliation, no competition and too much complacency is never a good thing.

We always wondered why Brigantine never used the Internet to communicate with the outside world. Odd that local newspapers and city-focused websites were rarely updated. Maybe it’s because things were doing great for those privileged few. Why attract more competition? Thanks to the Interwebs, it’s getting tougher for this hidden jewel just north of Atlantic City to operate like it’s on a separate planet, controlled by a few insiders.

We all have friends, family and colleagues who depend on the economic success of Brigantine Beach. Most of us have close relationships with full-time residents, business owners, city workers and part-time residents too. Protecting our legacy, schools, churches, police, and other city services are top priorities for all of us in Brigantine. Sad that we rely so much on raising taxes and cutting services to balance our budgets. Geez. We’re sitting on a gold mine. It’s called Brigantine Beach.

Public discussion became heated recently over the growing influx of so-called ‘2nd home’ owners, also known as part-time residents. Never mentioned in the local papers, is that a majority of tax dollars used for operating Brigantine, now comes from these second homeowners. Currently, this set of taxpayers can’t vote on local issues, budget allocation or other critical use of tax revenues.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a twist, we totally understand the pros & cons of having 2nd home owners having ‘local issue’ voting rights & some level of discussion with our elected officials. Other vacation destinations around the country are dealing with these issues as well. This is certainly something to keep an eye on.

Tourism, Real Estate and home related services are the key drivers to our island’s economy. It’s time for Brigantine leadership to represent the best interests of ALL Brigantine homeowners, taxpayers and business operators…. not just those with the power to cast a vote.

We’re all in this together. Quite frankly, we all need each other.

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4 thoughts on “Evolution of Brigantine Beach Real Estate Economy”

  1. I would think that most people would fully welcome second home owners to the island. These owners use little of the public resources except in the summer and pay a full 12 months of taxes for the priviledge of doing so. I am currently building a house on Brigantine which will further increase the tax base and more importantly, provides jobs for skilled framers roofers, electricians etc etc. Brigantine has been our second home for 8 years and we cherish it as much as anyone who lives here year round. I hope soon we will be able to live here year round as it is incredibly beautiful in the off season. Lack of civility between local year rounders and other part -time residents serves no one. Thankfully, in the flesh the majority of people on the island are wonderful. It is only behind the anonymity of the keyboard do some tend to get a bit nasty. We all have so much more in common than the petty issues which can separate us; mainly the desire to protect, beautify, and enjoy the best kept secret on the east coast.

  2. Yes, we are second homeowners, don’t understand why we cause a problem. We pay lots of taxes, don,t use lots of amenties and provide this city an almost private school, lots of employment, offset everyone’s water bills and we all get to enjoy the green head season and leave in the fall so you can enjoy our lovely town. WHERE’S THE BEEF!!!. Here it is, I’m a shoebee. Who cares! We all need to work to get things back together. Let’s just stop already. We have been in this town for so many years and know lots of good people, not sure where this nastiness is coming from but it should stop. – My Town Too!

  3. Please don’t call yourself a shoobee. It’s degrading. The Elks and others should
    give up their ridiculous parties that celebrate that the people who pay most of the bills are gone for the season. Property taxes went up a whopping 10% (approx), the majority of which were paid for by “part time ” residents, but full time taxpayers. The democrats and the republicans and the “new” republicans can fight all they want, but real change will come only when part time residents, but full time tax payers, can vote on local issues including voting for Mayor and City Council.

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