Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fare To Fair Street

Ulster lawmakers reimbursed $13,000 to commute to county building (Copyright © 2013 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc) KINGSTON – A report by the Ulster County comptroller’s office found that members of the county legislature were reimbursed over $13,000 for commuting miles to the county office building in Kingston last year. While county employees are not reimbursed to drive to and from home to work, state law allows county legislators to put in for that mileage. Legislators were reimbursed $17,497 for total miles traveled, which included $3,858 for business mileage. County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach said for the protection of the county and individual legislators, the reimbursements must be reported as taxable income and he recommended that a unique county policy be formally adopted by the legislature. The report, a follow up to a 2010 report on county mileage, found that over a five-year period, total county reimbursed mileage decreased by $400,000 with 2012 showing a $152,000 reduction from the 2008 baseline. “Utilization of vehicles from the county owned fleet, the cooperation of the executive’s office and every department head, and a conscientious effort of every employee to embrace other cost saving measures contributed greatly to the savings,” Auerbach said.