GSA leaves mileage reimbursement unchanged

Tuesday - 7/5/2011, 6:00am EDT

By Ruben Gomez
Federal News Radio

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is again pressing the General Services Administration to increase the mileage reimbursement rate for federal employees who use personal vehicles for government business.

In response to higher gas prices, the IRS raised the standard automobile mileage rate from 51 cents to 55.5 cents on July 1. The new rate is effective through Dec. 31. The rate set by the IRS sets the maximum mileage tax deduction for public and private sector workers, but "only action by GSA can extend an increase to federal workers, up to the IRS limit," according to NTEU.

On its website, GSA said "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. Any adjustments will be posted in the Federal Register and on this web site."

NTEU President Colleen Kelley, in a letter to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson, expressed disappointment.

"Federal employees pay the same amount for gas as private sector employees," Kelley wrote. "They should be able to be reimbursed for necessary business travel at the same rate as private sector employees."

Kelley wrote her first letter on June 24.

Federal News Radio has asked GSA for additional information on how it makes decisions about the mileage reimbursement.