Nonemployee Travel Reimbursement (NET) Guidelines

ICfL is pleased to host professional development, leadership, and advisory events for Idaho’s library community and to help defray travel expenses. The following guidelines will help participants plan their travel, streamline the reimbursement process, and help us all use public funds responsibly.  These travel guidelines prioritize safety, promote cost-effectiveness, and seek to ease the time and financial burden of the traveler. 

1. Events which qualify for NET reimbursement

When it comes to NET Reimbursement, ICfL holds a variety of types of events that affect whether attendees are reimbursed for travel.

Centralized events: generally reimbursed for those traveling more than 50 miles to the event

  • Event is offered one time in one location with the expectation that participants from all over the state will travel to the location. These types of events are often, but not always, held in Boise.
  • Some examples of a centralized event are Public Library Directors’ Summit, Summer Summit, Read to Me Rendezvous.

Required events: reimbursed for those traveling more than 50 miles to the event

  • Event designed for the participants to receive necessary training or orientation to properly implement an ICfL grant or program; or
  • When participants’ input is expected and necessary to make a group or meeting productive.
  • Some examples of required events TBS Advisory Meetings, SPLAT. Some events, like Supporting Beginning Readers, are required for some participants, but others are welcome to attend. In this instance, School Library Access Grant recipients are required to attend the training and are eligible for reimbursement, but those who choose to attend the training who are not grant recipients are not eligible for reimbursement.

Regional Events: not generally reimbursed

  • Event is offered multiple times in multiple locations throughout the state.
  • Regional events are offered in order to allow more library staff throughout the state to attend with minimal travel and time away from the library required.
  • At regional events, NET Reimbursement is offered only to those required to attend. See explanation for Required Event above.
  • Some examples of regional events are Datapalooza and Trustee Connections.

Voluntary Attendance: not generally reimbursed

  • ICfL events at which participants’ attendance is not required for a grant or program, unless it is a Centralized event.
  • Some examples are regional Maker Training, regional Youth Services Spring Training, Supporting Beginning Readers for those who’ve not received an Elementary School Library Access Grant that year.

2.  NET reimbursement requirements

  • W-9: the State of Idaho requires a W-9 for each person or library who receives a travel reimbursement. The W-9 form will be available either at the registration site or at the event itself.
  • Travel Reimbursement Form: to process a reimbursement claim, ICfL must have a completed and signed Travel Reimbursement Form. The Travel Reimbursement Form will be available at the event.
  • Attendance: those seeking a NET reimbursement must attend the event in its entirety. Those arriving after the event starts, departing before the event ends, or skipping part of the event may not be eligible for travel reimbursement. Exceptions must be cleared with the event organizer before the event.
  • Personal travel: travel reimbursements are meant to ease the burden of the expense associated with attending an ICfL event. Attendees are free to extend their travel for personal business or recreation and will be responsible for any additional costs associated with that extension. ICfL will calculate travel reimbursements within the safe travel guidelines as if attendees are traveling directly to and from the event.

3. NET reimbursables

When attendees travel by car, mileage is determined by calculating the distance from the town of the library or school at which the attendee works* to the town in which the event is being held. Google Maps will be used to determine mileage based on the shortest, safest route.

  • Mileage of 50 miles or more from library town to event town is eligible for reimbursement.
  • Mileage will be reimbursed at the State of Idaho rate at the time of the event.

One mileage claim per library branch will be reimbursed except when more than four representatives of the library branch are attending as described below.

    • ICfL encourages carpooling whenever possible; it saves money, saves the environment, and when parking is tight, saves space for everyone.
    • When attendees carpool in a private car, the vehicle driver/owner receives the reimbursement.
    • When attendees carpool in a library’s vehicle, the library receives the reimbursement. If more than four members of the library staff attend an event and must use more than one vehicle, the library receives reimbursements for both vehicles. For example, if a library sends five representatives and they must travel in two vehicles, two mileage reimbursement claims will be paid. However, if a library has five representatives and travel in 1 van, one mileage claim will be reimbursed.
    • When more than one attendee from a library branch drives their own personal vehicles, ICfL offers only one reimbursement for that library, which will be allocated as the drivers and/or the library see fit.
    • Whether attendees choose to drive a personal vehicle, a library vehicle, or a rental vehicle, mileage will be reimbursed. Mileage reimbursement can be applied by the driver or library to the vehicle chosen. That means there is no need to keep track of receipts for rental cars or gas. Mileage reimbursement rates are sufficient to cover those expenses.
  • Items that are not eligible for reimbursement:
    • Damage to vehicle incurred en route to or from event;
    • Roadside assistance or vehicle repair; or
    • Charges for fuel other than the mileage reimbursement.

When attendees travel by air the following expenses will be reimbursed when receipts are submitted after the ICfL event:

  • Airfare booked at least two weeks before travel will be reimbursed at the lowest available rate for coach, economy, and similar classes of airfare. Airfare in other classes, seat selection, or other upgrade fees will not be reimbursed unless approved in advance by ICfL and properly documented that the upgrade was necessary due to availability, physical limitations or other factors, and that the ticket was purchased at the earliest opportunity.
  • Baggage fee for one checked bag per State of Idaho Policy;
  • Airport parking: will be reimbursed at the most economical rate for the dates of the ICfL event and up to two travel days. Additional days are the responsibility of the attendee.
  • Mileage to/from the airport -calculated to/from home (or to/from library if library vehicle is used). If more than one member of a library’s staff is traveling to the airport, ICfL encourages carpooling.
  • Ground transportation between the airport, the hotel, and/or the event if no hotel shuttle is available at the time of arrival/departure. Ground transportation expenses will be reimbursed at the most economical rate. Tips are not reimbursable.
  • The following air travel costs will not be reimbursed unless a valid business purpose is identified and approved in advance by ICfL;
    • Booking fees such as Expedia, Travelocity, etc.
    • Travel insurance
    • More than one checked bag
    • Additional costs such as in-flight services, internet access or entertainment
    • Gratuities
    • Lodging in a location other than the event venue (see lodging and meals)

Event attendees should use the most cost-effective and efficient mode of travel, with the understanding that some attendees may require accommodation due to circumstances that are out of the ordinary. Contact the event organizer before making travel arrangements to discuss questions or concerns regarding mode of travel.

In ordinary circumstances, the following guidelines apply:

    • Air travel costs less than mileage: If air travel is available, and all associated costs for air travel (airfare, baggage, transportation, parking) are less than the cost of mileage reimbursement from library town to town in which the event is taking place, then attendees should travel by air. If an attendee chooses to drive instead, reimbursement will be based on calculated cost of air travel rather than mileage.
    • Air travel costs more than mileage: If air travel is available, and all associated costs for air travel (airfare, baggage, transportation, parking) are more than the cost of mileage reimbursement from library town to town in which the event is taking place, then attendee should travel by vehicle and claim mileage. If attendee chooses to fly instead, reimbursement will be based on calculated cost of mileage rather than airfare.

4. Calculating airfare reimbursement

STEP 1: Book the flight

At least two weeks before your planned travel date, which may be either the day before or the day of your ICfL event, book your flight. You should consider:

  • Will the itinerary ensure you have plenty of time to arrive at the event on time? Does its departure time leave enough time for you to attend the entire event, travel to and arrive at the airport with the appropriate amount of time before departure?
  • Do the flight times fall within the safe travel times guidelines? Remember the time it will take you to arrive at the airport with at least an hour before the flight. If your travel will not fall within safe travel times, are you comfortable with the times you must leave and arrive back at home, or should you consider staying the night at the beginning or end of the event?
  • Be sure to save your receipt (whether paper or digital) to submit with your reimbursement request.
  • Book the least expensive ticket that works for your itinerary; it helps us keep costs down and use taxpayer dollars wisely.

STEP 2: Ground transportation

Are you being dropped off at the airport?

  • If you took a taxi or ride share to the airport, remember to keep your receipt to submit with your travel reimbursement request. ICfL cannot reimburse tips or gratuities.
  • If you were dropped off in a private car, mileage to and from the airport are reimbursable to the participant at the state mileage rate. Use Google maps to determine mileage from your home to the airport. This is the only situation in which you use your home address to calculate mileage.

Did you drive yourself to the airport?

  • If you drive yourself and park your car at the airport, you are entitled to reimbursement for your mileage and for your airport parking. Please plan on using the least expensive parking option at the airport and avoid short term parking since that is the most expensive parking option.

STEP 3: What about luggage?

  • You are entitled to reimbursement for one checked bag. The baggage fee for any additional checked bags is your responsibility. If you are checking bags because you need equipment that is required for your participation in the event, please check in with the program leader prior to travel to make arrangements for that expense.
  • Remember to keep that checked bag receipt to submit with your reimbursement request.

STEP 4: On the plane

  • Fees for in-flight wi-fi, for-purchase snacks and beverages, seat upgrades, and any other purchases that may be made at the counter or in flight are the choice and responsibility of the traveler and are not eligible for reimbursement.

STEP 5: Getting to the hotel

  • Many of the hotels ICfL uses for events offer a free airport shuttle to the venue. When possible, please take advantage of that service. When there is a free airport shuttle available, ground transportation between the venue and the airport will not be reimbursed.
  • When there is not shuttle service, ground transportation between the hotel/event venue and the airport will be reimbursed. When possible, please consider sharing a ride with fellow participants.

STEP 6: After the event

  • Often those who travel by air will not have all reimbursable receipts until after they return home. When you have collected all the receipts, simply scan them and send them to the project lead. Be sure to clearly label the communication with your name and the name of the event you attended. ICfL hosts lots of events, and it can sometimes get tricky matching participants to events.
  • Please be sure to submit all your documents within two weeks of returning home.

STEP 7: Cash your reimbursement check within 30 days of its date!

5. Calculating mileage reimbursement

STEP 1: Will you be eligible for reimbursement?

  • If your library’s town is 50 miles or more away from the event town, your mileage is eligible for reimbursement. Mileage is calculated from town to town rather than from address to address.
  • The driver of a personal vehicle or the library that owns the vehicle will be the party reimbursed. Passengers are not reimbursed for mileage.
  • ICfL reimburses at the State of Idaho mileage reimbursement rate at the time of travel, currently 58.5 cents per mile (Jan 2022).
  • ICfL uses Google Maps to determine the shortest safe route in calculating mileage.
  • Check the Safe Travel Times Guidelines. If you have a long way to drive, you may be eligible for lodging.

STEP 2: Get yourself and your team to the event.

Coming on your own in your vehicle?

  • ICfL calculates mileage for reimbursement from your library’s city to the event city.* Say you work in Twin Falls, live in Gooding, and are driving to an event in Mountain Home. Your mileage would be calculated using Twin Falls as the point of origin and Mountain Home as the destination; no addresses.

Example: According to Google Maps, the shortest, safest route between Twin Falls and Mountain Home is via I-84 measuring 86.7 miles. If Idaho’s current mileage reimbursement rate is 5o cents per mile, a round trip (174.4 miles) would be reimbursed at $87.20 for mileage. **

*School librarians attending a summer event should calculate mileage from their home city rather than their school library’s city.

** Check with an ICfL staff member to learn the current State of Idaho mileage reimbursement rate.

Note: In the event you elect to take your vehicle to the event and other members of your library’s team are traveling in a library vehicle, the reimbursement will be applied to the library vehicle, unless the library vehicle is full and an additional vehicle must be employed to transport the entire team.

Coming with a team?

  • If you are using the library’s vehicle:
    • ICfL reimburses the library for mileage on a library vehicle.
    • When 1, 2, 3, or 4 team members attend an event for which mileage is reimbursed, the library will be reimbursed for mileage for that vehicle. When 5 or more team members attend an ICfL event and additional vehicles are required, additional mileage will be reimbursed for each vehicle to the individual or library to whom the vehicle belongs, with the understanding that as few vehicles will be used as is possible and practical. When the team is using a vehicle that comfortably accommodates more than four team members, that vehicle should be at capacity before mileage for another vehicle will be reimbursed.

Example 1: Ethel, Marvin, Frankie, Lola from Idaho Library will be attending an event that provides mileage reimbursement. The Idaho Library owns a nifty van that comfortably seats four. The team rides together in the library’s van and the library is reimbursed for the mileage.

  • If your team is coming in both private and library vehicles:

Example 2: Ethel, Marvin, Frankie, Lola, Myrtle, and Hazel from Idaho Library are attending a reimbursable event. The library still owns that nifty van that comfortably seats four passengers, and Frankie has volunteered to transport team members in his vehicle. In this case there would be two reimbursements: one reimbursement to Idaho Library, and one reimbursement to Frankie.

Example 3: Ethel, Marvin, and Lola from Idaho Library are attending a reimbursable event in Boise. Ethel and Marvin are taking the library’s nifty van, but Lola is staying in Boise for the weekend after the event, and so is driving her own vehicle. The reimbursement goes to Idaho Library since Lola chose to drive herself when there was room available in the library’s vehicle. Lola is not eligible for mileage reimbursement.

  • If the library doesn’t own a vehicle:

Example 4: Ethel, Marvin, and Lola are attending a reimbursable event, and the library does not own a vehicle. Ethel drives them all in her SUV, and so Ethel is eligible for mileage reimbursement.

STEP 3: Get you and your team back home again

  • If you will not arrive back home within the safe travel times set out in the guidelines, you may be eligible for a hotel room for the night before the event, the night after the event, or possibly both.

Please help us spend Idaho taxpayer dollars wisely and keep travel expenses low by carpooling when possible and practical.

6. Safe travel times

When planning an event, safety is the most important priority. With that in mind, ICfL has developed safe travel times to help plan travel.

  • “Safe” travel times to and from an ICfL event fall between 6:00am local time and 8:00pm local time, regardless of whether attendee is driving or flying.
  • If an event’s start time requires that travel start before 6:00am, lodging will be provided for the evening prior to the event.*
  • If an attendee leaving by 30 minutes past the end time of the event will not arrive home by 8:00pm, lodging will be provided for that evening.*
  • An attendee reserves the right to waive Safe Travel Times guidelines and/or the offer of lodging.

* Google Maps will determine drive time calculations based on the shortest, safest route.

7. Lodging and Meals

In the event it is necessary for attendees to stay the night at the event venue, ICfL will reserve a block of guest rooms at the event venue for attendees and cover lodging costs according to the following guidlelines:

  • Multi-day event: Lodging at the ICfL event venue or ICfL- designated hotel is provided for attendees traveling more than 50 miles one-way for the nights between event start and end times.
  • Safe Travel Times: Lodging at the ICfL event venue or ICfL-chosen hotel is provided for attendees traveling outside of Safe Travel Times outlined above.
  • ICfL will provide all lodging for events and meetings.
    • Lodging booked by the attendee at a location other than the event venue or ICfL-designated hotel is not reimbursable. This includes lodging near an airport, and/or hotels en route to event destination or home destination.
    • Lodging booked by attendee at a hotel of their choice rather than hotel chosen by ICfL is not reimbursable.
  • Meals: For each night of lodging provided by ICfL, a $25 meal stipend will be reimbursed. If attendee chooses to waive lodging , they may still request the $25 meal stipend. Since meals other than dinner are generally provided at the event or the hotel, per diem is no longer provided as part of NET reimbursement.

8. A few things to remember

  • Attendees should make their own transportation arrangements keeping ICfL’s Net Reimbursement Guidelines in mind.
  • Since each event has its own parameters, be sure to verify travel arrangements and procedures included in the event registration information.
  • Travel reimbursement claims will be paid after the event and payment is usually received within about two weeks of completion of the event.
  • Event organizers have the flexibility to make some exceptions to accommodate safety concerns and emergencies. However, some reimbursement policies and procedures comply with Idaho statute and, consequently, exceptions cannot be made for:
    • Mileage reimbursement rate;
    • 50-mile one-way minimum for mileage reimbursement;
    • Cash advances;
    • Rental cars, fuel, or other costs associated with driving;
    • Travel insurance, booking fees, tips;
    • Damage to vehicles and roadside assistance.

9. Advisory Committees

Certain exceptions apply to those who are serving on ICfL’s advisory committees and boards. Traveling members should check with the program leader to verify procedures specific to their committee.