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In Follow-Up Letter to GSA, Kelley Urges Action on Mileage Reimbursement Increase

Friday, July 1 2011

Washington, D.C. —The leader of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has written a second letter to the General Services Administration (GSA) calling for an immediate increase to 55.5 cents per mile in the reimbursement for federal employees who use their personal vehicle in the course of their duties.

“I was very disappointed to see the statement on the GSA website indicating that GSA does not plan to raise the rate currently in effect for federal employees from 51 cents to 55.5 cents,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley wrote to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson.

Just days ago, the NTEU leader wrote to Johnson calling for an increase after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raised the tax deduction for business use of a vehicle for the balance of this year from 51 cents per mile to 55.5 cents.

In the face of rising gas prices, President Kelley previously had written to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting an increase. While the reimbursement rate for federal workers cannot exceed the maximum tax deduction set by the IRS, federal employees do not benefit from an IRS action increasing the amount unless and until GSA acts.

“Federal employees pay the same amount for gas as private sector employees,” Kelley said in her follow-up letter to Johnson. “They should be able to be reimbursed for necessary business travel at the same rate as private sector employees.”

She called on the GSA head to immediately raise the mileage reimbursement rate to the level enjoyed by private sector employees. “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 wrote. “Please do not let this unfair situation continue."

NTEU is the nation’s largest independent federal union, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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