Mileage Reimbursement / Misc. Travel

Please Contact Janette Martin at 296-2708 for additional information

Mileage Reimbursement FAQ's

Q. Can employees be required to use their privately owned vehicle if that is the least costly mode of transportation available?
A. It is not the intent that employees will be required to use their personal vehicles. We recognize that many personal circumstances may affect whether an employee can use their personal vehicle without creating undue hardship for that employee or the employee’s family.

Q. What is the effective date for the reimbursement rate for privately owned vehicles?
A. There has always been a per mile reimbursement rate for travel in a private vehicle when a state vehicle is not available. KAR 1-18-1a provides that any state employee choosing to use a privately owned automobile when a state-owned or state-leased vehicle is available for use is to be reimbursed at the central motor pool rate for compact cars (unless the agency head determines that use of the state vehicle would be more expensive or the employee has a disability that requires the use of a privately owned vehicle that is specially equipped). Effective December 1, 2003, there will no longer be a central motor pool rate to use in those circumstances. However, K.A.R. 1-18-1a also provides that, if a mode of transportation is available and is less costly than transportation by privately owned conveyance, mileage payments for use of a privately owned vehicle are to be limited to the cost of that other mode of transportation. Therefore, if an employee wants to drive a privately owned vehicle, but an Hertz rental vehicle or state agency vehicle is available at a lower cost, the agency can limit the reimbursement to the cost of the Hertz vehicle or state agency vehicle. Each agency will be responsible for deciding whether to approve travel and which of the three available options– use of a state-owned vehicle, a privately owned vehicle, or an Hertz rental vehicle – is appropriate and cost-effective given the circumstances of the travel.

Q. Can I be reimbursed for fuel when I drive my privately owned vehicle?
A. No. The mileage reimbursement rate covers all costs associated with the use of the privately owned conveyance. This includes, but is not limited to: gasoline, oil, tires, repairs, insurance (including uninsured losses, and insurance deductibles resulting from damage to the privately owned conveyance),
license fees, depreciation costs, and expenses of any type.

Q. Can an agency require an employee to take an agency-owned vehicle or Hertz car rather then their personal vehicle?
A. Yes. K.A.R. 1-18-1a also provides that, if a mode of transportation is available and is less costly than transportation by privately owned conveyance, mileage payments for use of a privately owned vehicle are to be limited to the cost of that other mode of transportation. Therefore, if an employee wants to drive a privately owned vehicle, but an Hertz rental vehicle or state agency vehicle is available at a lower cost, the agency can limit the reimbursement to the cost of the Enterprise vehicle or state agency vehicle. Each agency will be responsible for deciding whether to approve travel and which of the three available options – use of a state-owned vehicle, a privately owned vehicle, or an Hertz rental vehicle – is appropriate and cost-effective given the circumstances of the travel. An online spreadsheet will be available to assist agencies in evaluating the relative costs of the different modes of transportation.

Q. Will the State of Kansas raise the privately owned vehicle reimbursement rate to 37.5 cents per mile on January 1, 2004 to correspond to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mileage rate?
A. No. The state of Kansas will NOT raise the reimbursement rate at that time. K.S.A. 75-3203a provides that the mileage reimbursement rate shall not exceed the lowest of the following rates:The rate allowed by the internal revenue service (IRS); the rate used in preparing the governor's budget report under K.S.A. 75-3721, and amendments thereto; or any revision of the rate as specifically directed in appropriation acts of the legislature.

Q. How do I calculate the cost per mile for my agency-owned vehicles?
A. The following cost categories should be considered when calculating the cost of operating an agency-owned vehicle. Please note that this should not be viewed as an all-inclusive list. There may be other costs that should be included in the calculation. However, this listing represents the major components of vehicle cost. Fuel Insurance, Depreciation, Repairs/Maintenance, Overhead (i.e., the record-keeping/administrative function)

Q. Can you provide some guidance for determining the appropriate method of travel and the associated reimbursement?
A. Yes. Each agency will be responsible for deciding whether to approve travel and which of the three available options - use of a state owned vehicle, a privately owned vehicle, or an Hertz rental vehicle - is appropriate and cost effective given the circumstances of the travel.

K.A.R. 1-18-1 also provides that, if a mode of transportation is available and is less costly than transportation by privately owned conveyance, mileage payments for use of a privately owned vehicle are to be limited to the cost of that other mode of transportation. Therefore, if an employee wants to drive a privately owned vehicle, but an Hertz rental vehicle or state agency vehicle is available at a lower cost, the agency can limit the reimbursement to the cost of the Hertz vehicle or state agency vehicle.

Q. Will the central motor pool rate be recalculated for FY 2005 and beyond?
A. No. Since there is no longer a central motor pool, and all costs associated
with the operation of agency-owned vehicles will not be tracked centrally, the
information required to calculate this rate will no longer be available.


Q. If an employee is approved to take a personal vehicle at a reduced rate, should the mileage reimbursement be expressed on the payment voucher as (the number of miles driven x the rate per mile) less the appropriate reduction necessary to limit reimbursement to the least costly mode of transportation available? Or can the reimbursement claim be submitted as, for example, rental car plus gasoline, even though the employee drove a personal vehicle?
A. If an employee is approved to take a personal vehicle, they are reimbursed at 37 cents per mile. There is no reduced rate. The agency is responsible for determining the mode of transportation that will be used by the employee while they are on state business. Whatever the decision is by the agency determines
how much the employee is reimbursed.

Q. In the cost comparison, how does an agency determine fuel price per gallon or
miles per gallon for the rental vehicle category?
A. The Department of Administration will not establish these rates. Agencies must consider current market rates and other relevant information to make these decisions. If the agency will not be paying excise tax or will be requesting an excise tax refund, this should be reduced from the fuel price per gallon for cost comparison purposes.

Miscellaneous Travel FAQ's

Q. Will anything change with respect to using our own agency KTAGs (used to pay the Kansas Turnpike Authority for toll charges)?
A. No. The changes relating to state vehicles will not have any impact on the way agencies obtain, use, or pay for KTAGs. Agencies will need to provide their own KTAGs to use when driving either agency-owned or Enterprise rental vehicles.

Q. Can an employee be reimbursed for fuel purchased for an agency-owned vehicle or an Hertz rental vehicle?
A. Yes. The employee should submit an appropriate receipt for the purchase (including the vehicle tag number or the fact it was for an Hertz rental car) according to their agency’s reimbursement procures. However, the agency may NOT claim the federal excise tax refund on this fuel purchase since the purchase was not made directly by the State of Kansas.

Q. Are there any changes to Fringe Benefit Income Reporting requirements when using a rental vehicle/?
A. Under IRS rules, employers are required to report fringe benefit income when employees drive an employer-provided vehicle home, whether it occurs only before or after or a trip or on a daily, commuting basis. K.A.R. 1-17-2a limits the circumstances in which state-owned or state-leased vehicles can be used to commute to or from an employee’s residence.

One of the circumstances in which commuting is allowed is for trip vehicles assigned to the traveler, on the evening of the workday immediately preceding the date of travel or the evening of the workday in which travel is completed, so long as driving the vehicle home will not increase the total one-way trip mileage between the official work station and the destination by more than 10 miles. Therefore, the “10-mile rule” in KAR 1-17-2a does not provide an exception from IRS fringe benefit income reporting requirements. Instead, it provides a management tool to ensure cost-effective travel in those limited circumstances in which employees are allowed to commute in a state-owned or state-leased vehicle.

Q. Will the Travel Handbook be updated to reflect these changes?
A. Yes. We plan to update this document in the near future.

Q. How do I object code the rental car and fuel charges in STARS?
A. Rental cars should be recorded using STARS expenditure subobject code 2521 for in-state travel and 2522 for out-of-state travel. Fuel purchases made using Fuelman or Automotive BPCs should be coded in the 351X series based on the specific type of fuel purchased.