RAF MILDENHALL — Of the four services, the U.S. Air Force is responsible for the majority of the $2.1 million the U.S. government pays the British Ministry of Defense for America’s 42 bases in England.

Taxes on RAFs Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Fairford total more than 700,000 pounds ($1.3 million) a year. The military pays the tax — used to fund local services such as police, fire and garbage collection for off-base renters and property owners — so individual servicemembers don’t have to.

RAFs Mildenhall and Lakenheath are home to the majority of the approximately 9,600 American airmen in the U.K.

On the other end of the spectrum, several Air Force properties cost the U.S. military less than 1,000 pounds ($1,800) a year in taxes.

They include:

¶ An antenna site at Hemel Hempstead: 974 pounds ($1,762).

¶ A forward scatter station at Maidstone: 469 pounds ($849).

¶ A wireless station at Watlington: 919 pounds ($1,662).

Property owned by the U.S. Navy incurs the second-largest amount of taxes, nearly 200,000 pounds ($362,000) in 2006.

As for facilities in London, taxes on RAF St. Mawgan, home to the Navy’s underwater-listening outpost, total 101,000 pounds ($182,810). The Navy pays nearly 40,000 pounds ($72,000) for government buildings at Pinner, RAF West Ruislip and a building at 2 Providence Court in Grosvenor Square.

The U.S. Army, meanwhile, pays the least, and the tax bill is expected to decrease next year with the decommissioning of RAF Hythe.

Taxes on the Yorkshire-based RAF Menwith Hill, an Air Force-operated base that is home to a National Security Agency surveillance station, totaled 88,000 pounds ($159,000), nearly 90 percent of the Army’s bill.

The situation differs for troops in other parts of Europe.

U.S. forces in Germany and Italy lease base properties free of charge, but the individual servicemember is not exempt from property tax on residential property, according to Julio Hernandez, spokesman for the Installation Management Agency-Europe.

However, servicemembers living in property owned by the German government are spared the tax.

“Real estate taxes for German government-owned family housing which is made available for U.S. use are paid by the German government,” Hernandez wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

“The German government expects to be reimbursed once the family housing is released from U.S. control and returned to the German government.”

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