ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD – Anne Arundel County is reducing the number of take-home vehicles for county employees by more than half in a plan to save about $600,000 a year, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

The county sized up its fleet of 317 take-home vehicles in July, asking department heads to see where cuts could be made without sacrificing the quality of service provided to county residents.

The county will cut 174 take-home vehicles from its fleet. The estimated annual $600,000 savings is based on the Internal Revenue Service’s mileage reimbursement rate of 48 cents per mile. County employees assigned to those 174 vehicles will now use their personal cars for their daily commutes, and will use county vehicles only for county business.

Among county departments, the Department of Public Works and the Department of Central Services had the greatest total reductions of take-home vehicles, but County police vehicles were not included in the review of take-home vehicles. In all departments, officials decided on a case-by-case basis whether emergency responders and public safety employees who live in the county would get to keep their take-home vehicles.

Gov. Martin O’Malley made a similar move on a smaller scale in May. O’Malley cut the size of his office’s vehicle fleet in half, from 24 cars to 12. Nine members of the governor’s office staff also had access to vehicles they could take home, but O’Malley revoked that privilege, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

At the time, O’Malley asked state cabinet secretaries and department heads to evaluate their vehicle fleets as well, seeking cuts as the state faced a $1.4 billion structural deficit.