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Military Lodging Reimbursement Going Up for Fiscal 2018

Soldier holds a stack of cash. (Photo Credit: C. Todd Lopez/U.S. Army)
Soldier holds a stack of cash. (Photo Credit: C. Todd Lopez/U.S. Army)

Lodging reimbursements, known as the "per diem rate," for troops on permanent change of station (PCS) moves or temporary duty assignments are going up by $2 for most locations starting Oct. 1.

The standard continental U.S. (CONUS) rate is going up from $91 to $93, officials with the General Services Administration said in a release.

That brings the overall standard daily per diem rate, which includes an additional $51 for meals and incidental expenses, to $144.

The CONUS rate, which is re-examined annually, represents the highest amount troops and other federal travelers can be reimbursed for a hotel room in most circumstances.

Because some regions experience higher costs based on season and other factors, 332 stateside areas are allowed a "non-standard" higher rate for 2018.

That is a decrease from the number of regions allowed the higher rate in 2017, GSA officials said.

Fourteen locations that qualified for higher rates in 2017 have been dropped from the 2018 list, including Redding, California; Laredo, Texas; and Watertown, New York.

Defense Department officials can authorize higher reimbursement rates outside the GSA chart if necessary.

The per diem change impacts all military members and families who are traveling on government orders. The rate is determined based on travel industry data, officials said.

Congress has yet to decide on the next pay raise for the military in 2018.

The White House has proposed a 2.1 percent pay increase for troops, while House Republican leaders have proposed a 2.4 percent increase.

Lawmakers return from their August recess Sept. 5.

The new per diem rates can be found here.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.