County, cities follow state mileage guidelines
Regardless of whether officials are driving for the city of Jackson or Madison County, the mileage reimbursement rate is the same.
The cities of Jackson, Ridgeland and Madison as well as Madison County follow the state guidelines for mileage reimbursement, and the state follows the federal guidelines.
Although local boards have the option to raise reimbursement rates above the mandated federal rates, that has not been done in any of these four governments.
In March 1995, the Mississippi Supervisor publication printed a page discussing mileage rate increases for state travel.
“The 1994 Legislature amended Section 25-3-41, of the Mississippi Code, to mandate that state officers and employees traveling in their private vehicle on official state business shall be reimbursed at the same rate allowable to federal employees using privately owned vehicles for official federal government travel,” the page states.
Further on, the page states that “governing authorities of a municipality or county may, in their discretion, elect to authorize an increase in the mileage reimbursement of officers and employees… in an amount not to exceed the mileage reimbursement rate authorized for officers and employees of the state.”
The state DFA (Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration) Web site, www.dfa.ms.gov, provides a link for current and previous mileage rates, and the link goes straight to the federal General Services Administration (GSA) Web site, www.gsa.gov, where the rates are listed.
Because Northside officials are reimbursed at the state rate and local officials cannot receive higher reimbursement rates than state officials, Madison, Ridgeland, Jackson and Madison County are unable to raise mileage reimbursement rates for their employees.
The most recent change in the reimbursement rate for privately-owned and government-issued vehicles was released on January 1, 2017, and is reissued on the first of every year.
“The most recent rate notice came from DFA on January 1, 2017,” said Shelton Vance, Madison County comptroller and administrator.
According to Vance, a notice is released when a change in the reimbursement rate occurs.
“I do not know all of the components of the calculation, but would expect that fuel, vehicle maintenance costs and estimated depreciation would be parts of the calculation.”
Although the reimbursement rates do not always increase each year, they have generally increased over the past 22 years for privately-owned vehicles.
In 1995, the reimbursement rate was $.30 per mile. This year, the reimbursement rate is $.535 per mile.
“I have seen the amount increase and decrease due to fuel cost changes,” said Vance. “In the early ’90s, the amount was as low as 20 cents per mile. Over the following years, there was a gradual increase, with a spike after Katrina. The amount has increased and decreased with fuel prices over the past 25 years,” Vance concluded.
Government-issued cars, however, have a lower reimbursement rate per mile, and that rate has decreased over the past 12 years.
In 2005, the GSA set the reimbursement rate at $0.285 per mile. This year, the rate is $.17 per mile.