The amount allocated for lodging shall not ordinarily exceed the maximum per diem rates authorized by the federal or state rate schedule, whichever is chosen by the city.
A. If the city reimburses using the federal rates, the Government Services Administration provides guidelines for determining the maximum that can be reimbursed for lodging. These amounts are available on line at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/105307. The rates are the maximum reimbursable rates for hotel rooms plus appropriate taxes.
If the city chooses Tennessee's reimbursement rate, the amount varies according to location, and does not include appropriate taxes. State rates for travel reimbursement can be found in the state regulations online at http://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/finance/attachments/policy8.pdf. The most recent amendment is also available online at http://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/tdot/attachments/travelrate.pdf.
B. Original lodging receipts must be submitted with the reimbursement form. Photocopies are not acceptable.
C. If a traveler exceeds the maximum lodging per diem, excess costs are the responsibility of the traveler.
D. If the best rate is secured, and it still exceeds the maximum lodging per diem, the CAO may authorize a higher reimbursement amount.
Even if it costs more, travelers may be allowed to stay at the officially designated hotel of the meeting; however, more moderately priced accommodations must be requested whenever possible. It will be the traveler's responsibility to provide documentation of the "officially designated meeting site" room rates, if these rates are higher than the normal reimbursable amounts.
E. If two or more city employees travel together and share a room, the lodging reimbursement rate will be the maximum of two single rooms. If an employee shares a room with a non-employee, the actual cost will be allowed up to the maximum reimbursable amount. The receipt for the entire amount must be submitted with the expense form.