Mileage reimbursement rates to increase in 2004

* No rate change in 1997

The General Services Administration announced Monday that the mileage reimbursement rate for federal employees who travel in their own cars on government business will increase to 37.5 cents per mile in 2004.

The new rate goes into effect on Jan. 1, according to a Dec. 15 Federal Register notice. Federal employee mileage reimbursement rates are based on data collected by GSA, and generally keep pace with the rate set annually by the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, by law (41 CFR Part 301-10), the governmentwide rate cannot exceed the rate set by the IRS.

The 2003 rate is 36 cents per mile.

Federal travel regulations allow employees to use their personal vehicles for official travel if such travel is authorized by their agency. If an agency authorizes travel by other means, such as by air, and an employee drives his or her own car instead, the reimbursement rate is limited to the cost of the authorized means of travel.

Employees who use personal motorcycles and airplanes will also see the mileage reimbursement rate increase in 2004. The reimbursement rate for motorcycles in 2004 is 28.5 cents per mile, up from 27.5 cents in 2003. Personal airplane travel will be reimbursed at 99.5 cents per mile in 2004, up from 95.5 cents per mile in 2003.

The mileage reimbursement rate does not apply to employee relocations. Relocations are designated as transportation expenses, not as an allowance for the cost and operation of a vehicle, according to GSA.

GSA Vehicle Reimbursement Rates
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

Source: General Services Administration