INVERNESS, FL - Citrus County plans to save money by using underutilized vehicles rather than continuing to pay reimbursement fees to employees for using personal vehicles on company business.

On Aug. 11, commissioners signed a one-year pilot test agreement that would allow property appraisers to use the underutilized vehicles on official business travels throughout the county. The units would not be considered "take-home" vehicles.

According to the Citrus Daily, last year's mileage for the office totaled $30,428. Under the agreement, that cost would be brought down to $25,572. Sales tax would not be charged for fuel.

Previously, employees in the appraiser's office used personal vehicles for travel and collect reimbursement. Effective Oct. 1, the property appraiser's office will be charged an initial annual fee of $2,600 per user, per vehicle, to be paid quarterly. The department is allowed a maximum of seven vehicles, according to county documents.

County officials said this move addresses the issues of liability and risk management and carry side benefits. This includes improving image to county residents since the vehicles will be marked with the property appraiser's logo on its side.

The Fire Department is scheduled to meet with the board August 18 to go over vehicle replacement.