As promised, the commissioners of the Clallam County Public Utility District No. 1 have reconsidered the district’s policy on mileage reimbursements.
Since 1995, PUD has paid its employees 23 cents more than the current federal mileage rate, saying they want to encourage employees to drive their own vehicles. That will save money, they said.
As of Jan. 1, 2013, the federal rate was 56.5 cents per mile. With the 23 cents added to that, PUD employees were receiving 79.5 cents per mile.
The new rate is 75 cents per mile.
That rate won’t float with the federal rate, said PUD spokesman Mike Howe. Instead, changes in the mileage rate will be determined by the commissioners “every couple years” and will be based on an independent analysis similar to the one that resulted in the recent decision.
The analysis, by Sequim CPA David Papandrew, determined that the cost to current employees to own and operate a car is 60 cents per mile, including finance costs. On the other hand, Papandrew said, the cost to the PUD of supplying three “pool” vehicles “would be over $1.10 per mile.”
Using both would result in an average cost of 75 cents per mile, he said.
Howe said, “The intent remains the same, that is, to encourage employees to use their own vehicles and for the district not to have to purchase pool vehicles.”
He added, “The analysis shows that saves the district money.”
The analysis also showed that 79,078 miles were reimbursed in 2012 at a cost of $62,081. The largest amount received by a single employee was $6,182. The amount reimbursed to employees exceeded the IRS rate by $18,193. PUD employees are required to pay taxes on the additional reimbursement.
Reach Mark Couhig at email@example.com.