IRS hikes travel reimbursement rate

Canadian County follows guidelines; now 62.5 cents per mile

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Dave Anderson

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – A travel reimbursement rate for Canadian County employees has increased in accordance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

The IRS has set the rate at 62.5 cents per mile effective July 1 through Dec. 31 – up from 58.5 cents per mile. The rate has now jumped 6.5 cents per mile since 2021, indicative of higher fuel prices.

Canadian County Commissioners, at their July 5th meeting, agreed to follow the rate of reimbursement already established by the IRS.

“We decided it is best to follow the revision that is issued by the IRS every time it’s done like that,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson said.

County employees are allowed to be reimbursed for mileage traveled in privately owned vehicles “during the course of their official duties” at the rate allowed state employees “as set forth” by the State Travel Reimbursement Act in Oklahoma statutes, according to a June 9th memo signed by Cheryl S. Wilson of the State Auditor & Inspector’s Office.

The State Travel Reimbursement Act provides that the rate of reimbursement for travel by privately owned automobiles “may be an amount not to exceed” the rate prescribed by IRS rules or procedures, Wilson added.

Canadian County Assistant District Attorney Tommy Humphries was asked to prepare a resolution for commissioners to approve that formally establishes the county’s mileage reimbursement rate.

In lieu of a formal resolution, Humphries on July 5 recommended the three-member board vote to approve following the revised IRS rate. The language will be included in a Canadian County employee handbook that is expected to be adopted soon.

“We’ll have something in writing to satisfy any concern of the Auditor’s Office when we pass the handbook,” Humphries said.

Since Canadian County employees have submitted mileage reimbursement requests since the start of the new fiscal year, commissioners agreed to make the 62.5 cents-per-mile rate effective July 1.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve Chairman Anderson’s motion to “now, and in the future, recognize the IRS reimbursement rate for travel and apply that rate to any claims submitted for travel in Canadian County beginning July 1.”

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COUNTY JAIL POPULATION

Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly county jail report at the July 5th commissioners’ meeting.

Inmate population totaled 228, with 187 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 41 others housed in other contracted counties.

Some 21 Canadian County inmates were awaiting transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.

Meanwhile, an annual contract for fiscal year 2023 was approved July 5 for the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center to provide secure juvenile detention services to Logan County youth.