IS YOUR HOTEL in what the federal government deems a “high-cost” market? If so, government employees can spend more than they would in other locales.
For the most part, the federal government kept its business travel allowances the same as fiscal 2016-17, but it has adjusted its list of high-cost markets.
The maximum per diem rates, effective Oct. 1, are $284 nightly in any high-cost locality and $191 for travel in any other market in the continental U.S. The meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) is $68 a day in high-cost areas and $57 for all other markets. Don’t expect your hotel staff to get big tips as the cap for incidental expenses is $5 daily.
Cities such as San Francisco, Boston, New York City and those in the Washington, D.C., market remain on the high-cost list. Added this year are Oakland, California; Lewes, Delaware; Fort Myers, Florida; Hyannis, Massachusetts; Petoskey, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; and Vancouver, Washington.
Cities removed from the high-cost list are Sedona, Arizona; Los Angeles, California; Vero Beach, Florida; and Kill Devil, North Carolina.
Seasonal per diems apply to these cities: Aspen, Denver/Aurora and Vail, Colorado; Bar Harbor, Maine; Ocean City, Maryland; Nantucket, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Jamestown/Middletown/Newport, Rhode Island; and Jackson/Pinedale, Wyoming.
The complete list of high-cost markets as well as other per diem information is filed as Notice 2017-54, which will be in IRB 2017-42, dated Oct. 16.
To find the federal government per diem rates by locality name or zip code, visit the General Services Administration website.