Roughly 28,000 service members stationed at stateside installations will receive lower Continental United States cost-of-living allowances (CONUS COLAs) beginning Jan. 1. Another 1,100 will see their allowance rise, while another 7,200 will no longer receive a CONUS COLA. Decreases are in store for 8,200, and 17,800 will get the same allowance they received in 2017.
The CONUS COLA is meant to offset expenses other than housing for service members who live in highest-cost locations within the continental U.S. The allowance is taxable. Rates can go up, down or stay the same each year, depending upon fluctuations in costs for transportation, goods and services, taxes and other expenses. Service members can calculate their CONUS COLA rates online at http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/conusCalc.cfn.