County to curb use of its cars

Take-home vehicle policy change aims to save $600,000

December 21, 2007

Anne Arundel County will reduce the number of take-home cars for county employees by nearly 55 percent beginning Jan. 1, resulting in an annual estimated savings of about $600,000, officials said.

Each department assigns its fleet of take-home cars to individual county employees whose work requires travel throughout the county.

In July, all 317 take-home vehicles were evaluated, based on the employee's job requirements, and cutbacks were made on a case-by-case basis. In the past, mileage for all county vehicles had been only assessed for low utilization.

"Fiscal responsibility is a priority of this administration and particularly in these tight budget times," said County Executive John R. Leopold. "I asked our department heads to take inventory of their take-home vehicles and evaluate where reductions could be made without sacrificing the quality of service provided to county residents, and I am pleased with their results."

The outcome was a reduction of 174 take-home vehicles, resulting in an estimated annual fuel and maintenance savings in excess of $600,000, based on the Internal Revenue Service's mileage rate of 48 cents per mile.

County employees assigned to the 174 vehicles will be required to use their personal cars for the daily commute and a county vehicle for county business only.

The county Department of Public Works and the Department of Central Services had the greatest total reductions of take-home vehicles.

County police vehicles were not included in the assessment. In all of the departments, a case-by-case analysis determined whether emergency responders and public safety personnel who live in the county would be permitted to keep their take-home vehicle.

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