Based on the Federal Government’s General Service Administration (GSA) annual market review of lodging maximums & M&IE per diem rates, the GSA has issued new domestic lodging maximums for Federal Fiscal Year 2018.  There are no changes to the domestic Meal & Incidental Per Diems for 2018.  As UW System utilizes the federal rates for our maximums, the new rates will be incorporated into UW System Travel Policy and will become effective with travel on October 1, 2017.  The UW TravelWIse Calculator and E-Reimbursement will be updated at the end of September as part of our routine monthly rate file load process.  As a reminder, the Department of State and Department of Defense adjust international, U.S. Territory Lodging rates and M&IE per diems on a monthly basis and we automatically incorporate those.

Noteworthy changes within Wisconsin:

  • Increased Standard Rate for all locations within Wisconsin not classified as a “high cost” country from $91 to $93
  • Implemented a seasonal differential rate ($107-$122) for Madison, WI from the current fixed rate of $115 – Note: the higher rate of $122 is in place for 8 months of the year.
  • Increased Milwaukee rate from $119 to $120
  • Increased Appleton rate from $97 to $99
  • Increased Brookfield/Racine from $100 to $104
  • Implemented a seasonal differential rate ($93-$104) for Sheboygan from the current fixed rate of $94
  • Increased the seasonal differential for Sturgeon Bay (current range of $91 – $96) to $93-$99
  • Decreased the seasonal differential for Wisconsin Dells (current range of $101-$127) to $100-$118
  • Note: the rates for high cost Wisconsin locations (and the same for other high cost locations outside of Wisconsin) extend beyond the city limits and apply to the entire county.  

Most of the lodging establishments across the state have already been informed of the rate increases and are applying them to future reservations, including University contract properties with contracted rates/terms available within Concur or with UW Team Agents.  This rate increase may impact what is charged for existing reservations at check out.  Travelers should be advised of this and encouraged to work with the hotel to ensure the rate is accurate for the time-frame in which the reservation was made.

The UW System continues to negotiate the state government maximums (currently $82 – $90) into contracts whenever possible.  It should be noted that with consistent increases in the Federal Government rates and larger demands for rooms in frequently traveled and high cost locations, the availability of the state government rate will decrease as they don’t reflect the competitive marketplace.  Based these factors University travelers should budget for travel using the UW rate maximums, particularly when arranging meetings and events or multiple lodging reservations.  Reserving rooms well in advance of travel also gives travelers the best opportunity for securing the lowest rates and the best availability.

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