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by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 18, 2014
The Government Services Administration has released the per diem rates for the lower 48 Continental United States for fiscal year 2015, the maximum allowances that federal employees will be reimbursed for expenses incurred while on official travel. The CONUS per diem rate for an area is made up of three components: the lodging allowance, the meals allowance and the incidental expense allowance. Most U.S. cities are covered by the standard CONUS per diem rate of $129 ($83 lodging, $46 meals and incidental expenses). About 400 nonstandard areas have per diem rates higher than the standard CONUS rate.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has parsed the new rates and discovered some notable changes for FY2015 in nonstandard areas, including:

• The New York City (Manhattan) fall season was increased from $303 to $304.
• While Chicago's fall season dropped from $209 to $194, its summer season was raised from $166 to $192.
• The fall season for San Francisco was increased from $226 to $251.
• Washington, D.C., per diem rates were raised from $219 to $222 for the heavy fall travel season and reduced from $167 to $162 during the summer months
• Five locations that were NSAs in FY2014 will move into the standard CONUS rate category.
• Two locations will become new NSAs in FY2015: Kayenta, Ariz. (Navajo County) and San Angelo, Texas (Tom Green County).

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