GSA raises mileage reimbursement rates by 3 cents

The General Services Administration announced new mileage reimbursement rates Friday, raising the rate 3 cents per mile for federal workers who travel in their own cars on government business to 40.5 cents for 2005.

The rate is effective Friday and will apply to official travel on or after that date, according to an announcement published in the Federal Register.

According to GSA, the new rate reflects current vehicle operating costs based on government reviews of commercial cost information, the Consumer Price Index and consultation with the Defense and Transportation secretaries.

The rate notice follows a November announcement from the Internal Revenue Service that rates would increase 3 cents per mile for 2005 effective Jan. 1.

The reimbursement rates generally match the annual rate established by the IRS and by law (41 CRF part 301-10), but cannot be higher than the IRS rate. In recent years, GSA has matched the IRS rate.

The IRS contracts to conduct a study to examine the costs of operating a vehicle, which includes gas prices, oil, tires and general maintenance costs.

Under federal travel regulations, workers may use their own vehicles for government travel if their agency authorizes that form of travel. If travel is authorized by other means, such as by plane, and workers use their personal cars instead, reimbursement rates are limited to the cost of the authorized means of travel.

The federal government will also reimburse employees for approved use of personal motorcycles and airplanes for government business. The reimbursement rate for motorcycles in 2005 is 30.5 cents per mile, up from 28.5 cents. The airplane reimbursement rate is $1.07 per mile, up from 99.5 cents.

GSA Vehicle Reimbursement Rates
2005 $0.405
2004 $0.375
2003 $0.36
2002 $0.365
2001 $0.345
2000 $0.325
1999 $0.31
1998 $0.325
1996 $0.31
1995 $0.30
* No rate change in 1997

Source: General Services Administration

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