GSA declines to raise mileage reimbursement rate

The mileage reimbursement rate for federal employees who use their private vehicles for work is not increasing in 2012, the General Services Administration announced.

The rate for cars will remain 51 cents per mile. The Internal Revenue Service changed the reimbursement level last summer due to high gas prices to 55.5 cents per mile for people who use their personal vehicles on the job. The IRS rate also will remain the same in 2012. GSA sets the government reimbursement rate and is not obligated to match the IRS' rate.

The government reimbursement rates for other modes of transportation remain the same as well: $1.29 per mile for airplanes. 19 cents per mile for government-owned vehicles and 48 cents for motorcycles.

In December 2011, the National Treasury Employees Union called on GSA to raise the mileage reimbursement rates. "I would remind you that federal employees are suffering under a pay freeze, making substandard reimbursement for the expenses they incur performing government work all the more burdensome," NTEU President Colleen Kelley wrote in a letter to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson.

In other transit-related news, Congress failed to act on legislation before Jan. 1 that would extend mass transit benefits to commuters. Federal employees' current mass transit benefit of $230 a month -- equal to the benefit for parking -- dropped to $125 a month in 2012. The law that sets the amount of pretax earnings that private sector workers can set aside for travel to and from work also determines the commuter subsidy for federal employees.

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