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Highlights of Municipal Travel and Expense Law

Reference Number: MTAS-1161
Reviewed Date: 12/15/2022
  • This law does not apply to municipalities and metropolitan governments above 100,000 in population.
  • It includes all cities with populations below 100,000.
  • It covers city boards, city utility boards, boards of education and other boards or committees.
  • MTAS is required to write a model travel and expense policy to guide municipalities. This policy and any amendments are subject to comptroller approval.
  • Any city can write its own travel policy and file it with the comptroller. A travel policy written and adopted by a city does not need comptroller approval; it just has to be filed.
  • If a city wants different travel policies or reimbursement rates for different boards, board members or employees, it apparently can do that. But the city must write its own policy and file it with the comptroller.
  • If a city adopts the MTAS model, it must decide which travel reimbursement rate schedule (federal or state) to follow and complete the blank line, pass the ordinance and notify the comptroller in writing.
  • Municipalities may provide vehicles for city officials. This sample travel policy does not cover the requirement that “a written policy shall be adopted by the municipal legislative body. The written policy for vehicle use shall be separate from the travel and expense policy provided for in the previous sections and shall contain no other subject matter.”
  • Travel allowances not supported by adequate documentation are considered compensation. If statute, charter or private act limits an official’s pay, undocumented travel could cause the salary to exceed that limit.
  • All municipal travel and expense reimbursement policies, and any amendments to the policies, must be made available for review and audit by the office of the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller of the treasury's designee.