July 1, 2011While the Internal Revenue Service has raised the mileage reimbursement rate for the second half of the year due to high gas prices, the General Services Administration will not follow suit.
"Although the results of our internal evaluation do not support a change at this time, we plan to monitor the fuel costs monthly and will adjust the rate if warranted," GSA stated on its website.
In June, the IRS announced a change in reimbursement rates from 51 cents per mile to 55.5 cents for taxpayers who use their personal vehicles on the job. The new rate took effect Friday, but federal employees will not benefit from it unless GSA -- which has leeway to set rates as high as the IRS' -- follows suit.
National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley has written two letters to GSA, demanding it match the IRS.
"Federal employees pay the same amount for gas as private sector employees," Kelley said in her second letter. "They should be able to be reimbursed for necessary business travel at the same rate as private sector employees."
In her letter, Kelley cited the historical precedent of GSA following the IRS' lead.
When the IRS lowered the rate by 5 cents in January 2010, GSA followed with the same change.
"It is my understanding that GSA has historically followed the reimbursement rates set by the IRS and I strongly urge you to do so now," Kelley said. "Please do not let this unfair situation continue."
July 1, 2011