Government Fleet Top News

Indianapolis Council Votes to End City Take-Home Cars

October 10, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously voted to save taxpayers millions of dollars by putting the brakes on take-home vehicles for about 400 city and county employees, according to http://www.indystar.com.

City officials said limiting the long-standing perk could save at least $6 million in vehicle-replacement costs every four or five years. The change, which affects nonemergency vehicles, also could save an additional $250,000 a year in gasoline, maintenance and accident repairs, as well as some injury payments from accidents involving government vehicles.

With about half of the City-county vehicle fleet outdated, City Controller Bob Clifford says the goal of the ordinance is to shave the number of replacement vehicles needed.

The process of identifying which vehicles to eliminate, he said, will begin in the spring and could take more than a year. The city did not begin requiring mileage logs of how the vehicles are used until July.

The measure affects only nonemergency vehicles used by employees who drive fewer than 10,000 business miles per year.The City and county own more than 3,000 vehicles. This includes 231 take-home vehicles driven by City employees, including building inspectors and road engineers, a Department of Public Works spokeswoman and the city’s Latino Affairs director. The county has about 420 or so vehicles that are nonemergency personnel take home.

Rozelle Boyd, chairman of the committee heard the proposal, said City officials told the panel that some workers would need time to adjust and find another method of transportation.

“Employees are not allowed to drive the vehicles for personal use. They are only for the commute to and from work, but the City won’t take the vehicles away until sometime next year,” Clifford said.

The City will reimburse employees who use personal vehicles for city business at 90 percent of the federal government rate of 48.5 cents per mile, reported in www.indystar.com.

Jackie Nytes, a Democratic council member, said the policy is a significant step because many employees have become accustomed to using take-home vehicles. She said writing the policy into law recognizes how hard it is to change.

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