GSA lowers mileage reimbursement rate in 2010

The General Services Administration announced on Monday that it is lowering by five cents the 2010 mileage reimbursement rate for federal employees using private vehicles for government business.

The new rate, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2010, is 50 cents per mile, down from 55 cents per mile in 2009. Unless GSA issues a mid-year adjustment, the rate will remain constant until the end of 2010. It is unusual for the agency to make such revisions.

The new rate mirrors those set by the Internal Revenue Service for the deductible costs of operating a personal vehicle for business, which were announced in December. By law, GSA cannot exceed the rates set by the IRS. The agency also consulted the Treasury and Transportation departments as well as union representatives on the figures.

GSA on Monday also announced reimbursement rates of 47 cents per mile for privately owned motorcycles used for government business, down from 52 cents per mile in 2009. The reimbursement rate for privately owned airplanes rose from $1.24 per mile in 2009 to $1.29 per mile in 2010.

The new automobile reimbursement figure is the lowest since 2007, when GSA set its rate at 48.5 cents per mile, following the lead of the IRS. Since then, the rates climbed as gas prices skyrocketed, reaching a peak of 58.5 cents per mile during the second half of 2008. During 2009, the rate fell 3.5 cents, reflecting declining costs of transportation and plummeting gas prices, according to the IRS.

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