The SUNY Cobleskill Business Office is dedicated to assist travelers and process travel-related payments in a prompt, accurate, and courteous manner. This office processes travel payments consistent with policies, procedures, and guidelines established by SUNY Cobleskill, the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, SUNY, and the NYS Office of General Services. We recognize the complexity of travel policies, procedures and guidelines and strive to make travel experiences as positive as possible for members of our campus community.
It is important to note that these policies, procedures, and guidelines are recognized by the IRS as an Accountable Travel Plan. In the absence of this recognition, travel payments could be considered additional compensation which could cause extra, unnecessary tax burdens. Strict adherence to the policies, procedures, and guidelines is therefore required.
We look forward to working with you and assisting with your travel needs.
Approval of documentation is required at different levels and stages depending on
the type of travel and needs of the traveler:
1. Before Travel Takes Place: THE TRAVEL REQUEST
An employee must complete a Travel Request for every trip whether they are in overnight status, or simply taking a day trip. Travel Requests identify who is traveling, where they are going, what they are doing, when they leave and return, what expenses they expect to incur, the funding account and a complete list of all parties traveling. The traveler's supervisor, Director, Dean, Vice President, Provost or President should approve an employee's travel plan and funding source before travel takes place. It is important that all employees plan their travel, submit a completed and approved Travel Request to the Business Office at least TWO WEEKS in advance of the date of departure. The dollar limit is the maximum amount that will be reimbursed to the traveler. Failure to submit a Travel Order may delay a traveler's request for reimbursement.
Please note: All out of state travel requires approval from a Dean or a Vice President. Professional development funding requires additional approval from the department chair of Professional Development.
2. After Travel Takes Place: THE TRAVEL VOUCHER
After travel takes place and if the traveler is due reimbursement, the traveler must complete a Travel Voucher, attach all of their itemized receipts, obtain the signature of their supervisor, Director, Dean Vice President, Provost or President, and send everything to the Business Office. If a fleet vehicle is not available, and a personal vehicle is used during a trip, personal mileage will be reimbursed. The traveler must complete and attach a Statement of Automobile Travel Form to their Travel Voucher.
The traveler is responsible for knowing and complying with all travel guidelines. Please note: travel reimbursement will be directly deposited into the travelers account at their financial institution.
An employee is considered to be in travel status and eligible for reimbursement of
travel expenses (including lodging, meals, transportation, and miscellaneous travel
expenses) when an employee is assigned at a work location more than 35 miles from both his/her official work station AND his/her home. The assignments must meet
a necessary business purpose as directed and approved by appropriate personnel.
The official work station for the majority of our employees is SUNY Cobleskill, 106 Suffolk Circle, Cobleskill NY 12043. Traveling from SUNY Cobleskill to home or vice versa is considered commuting and is not reimbursable.
Employees may choose one of two methods for reimbursement for overnight travel. Breakfast
and dinner are reimbursable meals, lunch is not.
The Unreceipted Method (Method 1) and provides a flat rate allowance for meals, lodging and incidental expenses regardless of where lodging is obtained, including lodging with relatives or friends. Rates are established based on the city or county where lodging is obtained or the location to which the employee is traveling (whichever is less), and such location must be indicated on the Travel Order. No receipts are required when using this method. Current rates are as follows:
|New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and
|Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester,
Syracuse and their respective surrounding
|All other locations in New York State||$35|
|Out of State (this includes any out of state tax)||$50|
Travelers using this method may also be eligible for an additional $5.00 for breakfast on the day of departure, if they leave at least one hour before their normal work start time. They may also be eligible for an additional $12.00 for dinner on the day of return if they return at least two hours later than their normal working time.
The Receipted Method (Method 2) provides reimbursement of actual lodging costs and an allowance for meals based on federal reimbursement rates for the county of lodging. Since rates are based on location of lodging, the city and state must be indicated on the Travel Order. Itemized receipts are required for lodging, but not for meals.
For each day the traveler is in overnight status, the traveler is eligible for reimbursement for lodging up to a maximum lodging per diem and a per diem allowance for meals. The meal per diem is for dinner the first night and breakfast the following day.
Travelers using this method are also eligible for an additional per diem breakfast if they have to leave at least one hour before their normal work start time the first day, and/or dinner if they return at least two hours later than their normal work ending time on the last day of travel. In these cases, breakfast and/or dinner will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the meal per diem allowance specified for the particular area of lodging.
Maximum lodging rates exclude taxes. For travel within New York State, travelers must provide a New York State Tax Exemption Certificate (ST-129) to the hotel. For travel outside of New York State, state and local taxes are NOT included in the maximum lodging rate and will be reimbursed in addition to the per diem amount.
On occasion, travelers may be unable to find a hotel at a rate that does not exceed the maximum federal lodging per diem rate for the location of travel. If that occurs, travelers must obtain prior approval from his/her finance office to exceed the federal rate using the SUNY Cobleskill Request to Exceed Max Lodging Rates.