What are the per diem rates for 2013?
In a recent U.S. GSA press release the estimated savings for the Federal government is around $20 million for fiscal year 2013. This also indirectly maintains the tax rate for Department of Transportation (DOT) workers such as pilots, flight attendants, railroad engineers and truck drivers.
Besides DOT workers, other organizations and businesses are not excited about the frozen rates. When tackling the per diem rates for 2013, the U.S. GSA wanted a 30% decrease. But the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the U.S. Travel Association lobbied heavily to at the very least maintain 2012 per diem levels. Many government workers, military personnel and business travelers use Federal per diem rates when making lodging decisions and reservations.
Therefore if rates are frozen then hotels must be careful when considering raising lodging rates in 2013. If a hotel exceeds the Federal per diem rate, a traveler might look elsewhere. Hotel and travel lobbyists will continue to work with the U.S. GSA office to ensure economic per diem rates for the future. Sounds like fun!
So besides a safe trip from the airport to hotel, you might also want to thank the van driver and hotel staff for pressuring Congress to keep per diem rates the same.