Some travel reimbursement rates to rise
By Eric Yoder,
Federal employees will be reimbursed at higher rates for lodging in some large cities while on official travel during the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
The General Services Administration announced Thursday that fiscal 2012 lodging rates for those traveling to the Washington area, for example, will increase from $211 to $226 a day in the peak months of September and October and from $211 to $224 a day in March through June.
Federal travelers also receive separate reimbursement for “meals and incidental expenses” that will continue to range from $46 to $71 a day.
The GSA sets individual per diem rates for about 400 destinations based on a travel industry measure, with rates for some locations varying by season. The highest daily lodging rate, $296, will apply in December through March in Vail, Colo.
The New York City area will be close behind, with a peak lodging rate of $295 in September through December. Employees traveling to either of those two locations will receive the maximum $71-a-day meals-and-expenses reimbursement that commonly applies to destinations where lodging costs are highest.
Other high-cost destinations include Nantucket, Mass., with a lodging rate of $249 a day in June through September; Boston, $221 in September and October; Key West, Fla., $221 in February through April; Chicago, $190 in September through November; and San Francisco, $184 in September and October.
In most cases, the new rates for high-cost cities will be $10 to $20 a day more than current rates.
For travel destinations with no specific rate, a flat $77 for lodging and $46 for meals and other expenses will continue to apply.
The GSA said that overall, most fiscal 2012 rates will not increase or decrease by more than $5 a day. Rates overall remain below their peak in 2008, the agency said.