Is the Commissary Surcharge Going to Increase?

Shoppers at the Fort Drum commissary. Ashley Patoka/Northern Regional Medical Command
Shoppers at the Fort Drum commissary. Ashley Patoka/Northern Regional Medical Command

Dear Q&B,

I heard that the commissary surcharge is going up, and it's going to cost us more to shop there. Is that true?

-- Shopper

Hi, Shopper,

There's good news and bad news. First, the good news is that the surcharge is definitely not going up. And in case you don't believe me, here's a quote straight from the commissary headquarters:

"No, the commissary surcharge is not increasing for 2017," Kevin Robinson, a commissary spokesperson, told me. "It would take a change in law to raise the commissary surcharge and, to date, no legislation has been proposed to do so."

The commissary surcharge has long been set at 5 percent. You'll find it noted at the end of your commissary receipt, and it is calculated on your total purchase amount before coupons are deducted. Revenue from the surcharge pays for commissary construction and infrastructure updates.

I'm not sure where this rumor came from, but it's possible that someone heard commissary prices might be changing this year -- and that's the bad news I have for you. That part is actually true.

Thanks to a new law that allows the commissary to base its prices off of local costs instead of selling goods wholesale, shoppers are likely to see price tag changes this year. Some prices may go down while others will go up, depending on the product.

-- Team Q&B

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