Sam Johnson stands up for small businesses

Calls on IRS to increase gas mileage rate

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Washington, March 9, 2011 | McCall Avery / Haley Creel ((202) 225-4201) | comments

Last night Ways and Means Committee Member U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (3rd Dist.-Texas) called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to increase the 2011 gas mileage rates due to higher travel costs brought on by surging gas prices.


Since the IRS announced the 2011 rates, weekly regular conventional retail gasoline prices have increased by nearly 20 percent according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).   The EIA reported that gasoline prices for the week ending February 28 registered their second largest weekly increase since 1990 (with post Katrina taking the top spot).  According to EIA, the national average regular gallon of gas now costs $3.52.


“Gas prices are continuing their upward climb, and there are no signs that the pain at the pump will subside any time soon.  Taxpayers today, especially small businesses struggling to stay afloat, want, need and deserve rates that reflect the current cost of travel,” wrote Johnson in a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman. 


Currently the IRS mileage rate is 51 cents for business travel; the medical and moving rate is 19 cents.  (The charitable rate of 14 cents is set by law.)  The IRS increased the optional mileage rates due to spiking gas prices in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and in 2008.  In 2008, Shulman said at the time, “We want the reimbursement rate to be fair to taxpayers.” 


“Failure to quickly and appropriately increase the rates would only further compound the financial pinch and stifle an already shaky economic recovery.  It is my hope that the IRS will adopt this fair, simple, common-sense solution to help taxpayers already reeling from sticker shock at the pump,” continued Johnson.


To read a copy of Johnson’s letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, go to  Constituents interested in sharing their story about how a higher mileage rate would improve their quality of life are encouraged to call the District Office at 972-470-0892. 


Johnson represents portions of Dallas and Collin Counties.

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