AGR (Active-Guard-Reserve) employees are military service members that
belong to the reserve component, but work full time.
Housing allowance (BAH) is paid, tax-free to these employees every
month. BAH is paid in addition to all othe r pay and allowances. BAH payout
is based on defined geographic areas (work location).
Many employees have actual housing costs that are much less than the
payout. In New York City, employees are paid between an average of $2300 -
$3200 PER MONTH, tax free, as housing allowance (in addition to basic
salary). Many of these employees live in another geographic area (commute to
work), and pay less 50% of their allowance in costs, but collect the entire
allowance. This money is used as income, though it is not taxed.
I suggest that BAH be paid on a voucher basis, requiring that payout be
balanced against actual costs (mortgage payment receipts, rent receipts,
etc). Adding an additional 3 - 5 employees to monitor this system for each
state's National Guard AGR force will easily save MILLIONS each year for EACH
STATE and territory.
This is not an attack at service-members benefits. BAH is a housing
allowance, not income for the employee.