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Beware of employees who pad the odometer

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in Small Business Tax

File this one under “unintended consequences”: In an effort to save money, the Fairfax County, Va., government established 4,500 miles as the annual usage minimum for keeping a county vehicle. Employees who fall below the limit lose their cars.

The policy caused many county employees to drive hundreds of unnecessary miles — or swap cars with employees who drive more — simply to run up the odometers to meet the 4,500-mile threshold. Because the county maintains more than 3,000 vehicles, the added cost of gasoline, wear-and-tear and wasted employee hours added up to huge waste.

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