B-177091, DEC 12, 1972

B-177091: Dec 12, 1972

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REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES MAY BE MADE ON A PRO RATA BASIS TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO SHARES EQUALLY IN THE OWNERSHIP OF A RESIDENCE WITH A PERSON WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY. THE PRECLUSION CONTAINED IN SECTION 4.1C IS NOT FOR APPLICATION IN SUCH A CASE. A-56: "4.1 CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS UNDER WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE PAYABLE. THE GOVERNMENT WILL REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF ONE RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION *** PROVIDED THAT: "C.TITLE REQUIREMENTS. IS IN THE NAME OF THE EMPLOYEE ALONE. THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WERE PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE. IF ANY EXPENSES WERE SHARED BY PERSONS OTHER THAN THE EMPLOYEE.

B-177091, DEC 12, 1972

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION - REAL ESTATE EXPENSES - CO-OWNERSHIP WITH NON-FAMILY MEMBER DECISION ALLOWING THE CLAIM OF BETTY J. RITZ, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE AND THE PURCHASE OF ANOTHER RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO HER TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM ATLANTA, GA. TO GAINESVILLE, FLA. REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES MAY BE MADE ON A PRO RATA BASIS TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO SHARES EQUALLY IN THE OWNERSHIP OF A RESIDENCE WITH A PERSON WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SECTION 4.1C, 4.1F. THE PRECLUSION CONTAINED IN SECTION 4.1C IS NOT FOR APPLICATION IN SUCH A CASE.

TO MR. ADOLPHUS PAYTON:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 19, 1972, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES CLAIMED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION 5724AA)(4) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. BY MISS BETTY J. RITZ MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MISS RITZ AND MISS SANDRA S. CULLEY, NOT A MEMBER OF MISS RITZ' FAMILY, SHARED EQUALLY IN THE OWNERSHIP OF A RESIDENCE LOCATED AT ATLANTA, GEORGIA, WHICH THEY SOLD INCIDENT TO MISS RITZ' TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION TO GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. AT GAINESVILLE MISS RITZ AND MISS CULLEY AGAIN SHARED EQUALLY THE COST OF PURCHASING A NEW RESIDENCE AT THAT LOCATION.

MISS RITZ CLAIMS ONE HALF THE ALLOWABLE COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT ATLANTA AND THE PURCHASE OF THE RESIDENCE AT GAINESVILLE. YOUR QUESTION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT ARISES FROM THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56:

"4.1 CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS UNDER WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE PAYABLE. THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE UNDER THIS PROVISION, THE GOVERNMENT WILL REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF ONE RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION *** PROVIDED THAT:

"C.TITLE REQUIREMENTS. THE TITLE TO THE RESIDENCE OR DWELLING AT THE OLD OR NEW OFFICIAL STATION, OR THE INTEREST IN A COOPERATIVELY OWNED DWELLING OR IN AN UNEXPIRED LEASE, IS IN THE NAME OF THE EMPLOYEE ALONE, OR IN THE JOINT NAMES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OR SOLELY IN THE NAME OF ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY ***"

SINCE MISS RITZ' OWNERSHIP OF BOTH RESIDENCES HAS BEEN SHARED EQUALLY WITH A PERSON NOT A MEMBER OF HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY YOU SUGGEST THE ABOVE- QUOTED PROVISION OF SUBSECTION 4.1C WOULD SEEM TO PRECLUDE THE EMPLOYEE FROM ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES CLAIMED.

AS YOUR LETTER POINTS OUT, SUBSECTION 4.1F OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SUPRA, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"F. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES BY EMPLOYEE - PRO RATA ENTITLEMENT. THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WERE PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE. IF ANY EXPENSES WERE SHARED BY PERSONS OTHER THAN THE EMPLOYEE, REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE PORTION ACTUALLY PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE. IF THE RESIDENCE IS A DUPLEX OR ANOTHER TYPE OF MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY DWELLING WHICH IS OCCUPIED ONLY PARTIALLY BY THE EMPLOYEE, OR WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE SHARES RESPONSIBILITY FOR A LEASED PROPERTY (SUCH AS A SHARED APARTMENT ARRANGEMENT), EXPENSES WILL BE REIMBURSED ON A PRO RATA BASIS. ***"

IN VIEW OF THE LANGUAGE OF SUBSECTION 4.1C WHICH INCLUDES "THE INTEREST IN A COOPERATIVELY OWNED DWELLING" AS A FORM OF OWNERSHIP FOR WHICH REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE AND THE INTENT OF SUBSECTION 4.1F TO PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT ON A PRO RATA BASIS WHEN THE EMPLOYEE'S INTEREST IN A RESIDENCE IS LESS THAN TITLE TO THE ENTIRE PROPERTY OF WHICH IT IS A PART WE BELIEVE REIMBURSEMENT IS ALLOWABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, MISS RITZ MAY BE REIMBURSED HER SHARE OF THE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES OF SALE AND PURCHASE OF EACH RESIDENCE NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE COOWNER IN EACH CASE WAS NOT A MEMBER OF HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

THE VOUCHER AND ATTACHMENTS TO YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH. THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.