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Relief for gas prices?

PSC, TDY mileage rates to be adjusted July 1

Senior Airman Juanelle Carson pumps gas Oct. 8, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Estrada

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Beginning in July service members will begin to receive more money reimbursed to meet the rising cost of gasoline during a permanent change of status (PCS) or a temporary duty station (TDY) move.

The Coast Guard, the first to announce the new rates, noted the mileage rate for PCS travel will increase from 18 to 22 cents per mile and that the TDY rate would increase from 59 to 63 cents per mile, effective July 1.

"While an increase of (4 cents) per mile may not seem like a lot, it is greater than the typical adjustment, and is the largest single increase in mileage rates since 2011," explained D. Mischell Navarro, the acting assistant commandant for human resources at the Coast Guard, in a memo to the service.

Gas prices nationwide average more than $5 per gallon, the highest rate in two decades. This has prompted the Internal Revenue Service to raise its standard mileage expense rate, which in turn the General Services Administration uses to set reimbursement rates for service members.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), service members stationed in California pay the highest prices for gas at an average of $6.43 per gallon at the time of publication of this story. This is true in areas where there are large military bases: Nevada averages $5.65; Alaska averages $5.56; Washington averages $5.54; and Washington DC averages $5.26. There are no current economic indicators suggesting a cost reduction. 

For many military families who will be moving during the summer PCS months, the high price of gas will have an impact on their budgets.

Analysts point out that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic when oil companies depleted supplies, the rising spike in demand, and the European Union's imposed sanctions on Russian oil after its invasion of Ukraine are responsible for the rise in gas prices.

They add that the dynamic between decreased supply and increased demand is contributing to rising prices at the pump, and with the increase in the price of crude oil, consumers will continue to pay more at the pump for the near future.

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