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Gazette Premium Content Get ready to pay more at the commissary

News services - Updated: February 26, 2014 at 11:49 am

The often-touted 30 percent average savings that troops and families enjoy in military commissaries would shrink considerably under the Pentagon’s plan to slash taxpayer subsidies for the stores by two-thirds, the Military Times reports.

In unveiling his proposed 2015 defense budget Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized that the Defense Department “is not shutting down commissaries.”

But the plan would reduce the annual taxpayer subsidy for the Defense Commissary Agency by $1 billion over three years, from the current $1.4 billion to $400 million. Only stores that are overseas and in remote locations would continue to receive direct subsidies.

Under the plan, patrons would have to pay higher prices in order to fund the stores’ operations — such as employee salaries, the biggest cost at about $750 million a year. Most of the stocking of shelves is already done by industry.

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