by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 14, 2015
The General Services Administration has established the 2016 per-diem rates for the lower 48 Continental United States (CONUS), the maximum allowances for which federal employees are reimbursed for official travel expenses. The hotel rate will rise to $89 next year, from the current $83.

Kathering Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, was glad to see the rise in the hotel rate: "Ensuring that per-diem rates reflect the realities of the market has been a key priority of AH&LA, and we applaud GSA's efforts to ensure lodging rates reflect current market conditions. The increase in the standard rate to $89 from $83 is a step in the right direction."

The full CONUS per-diem rate combines three allowances, covering lodging, meals and incidentals. Most of the CONUS (approximately 2,600 counties) are covered by the standard daily rate of $140 ($89 for lodging, $51 for meals and for incidental expenses). About 400 Non-Standard Areas (NSAs) have per-diem rates higher than the standard CONUS rate, based on average daily rate information from the lodging industry.

Two locations will become new NSAs in fiscal year 2016: Grand Lake, Colo., and Pecos, Texas. Dropping into the standard CONUS category are 15 regions: Huntsville, Ala.; Modesto, Calif; Driggs/Idaho Falls, Idaho; Springfield, Ill.; Covington/Slidell, La.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Los Alamos, N.M.; Stateline/Carson City, Nev.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Greenville, Texas; Fredericksburg, Va.; Norfolk/Portsmouth, Va.; Prince William/Manassas, Va.; Anacortes/Coupeville, Wash.; and Shepherdstown, W.V.

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