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Postage increase: Stamp prices go up to 49 cents in January

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Postage increase looms as first-class stamp prices go up to 49 cents on Jan. 26, according to Oklahoma's KWTV News 9. The 3 cent price hike was approved on Tuesday, and is being helmed as temporary to allow the Postal Service to recoup losses brought on by the 2008 recession.

The higher rate should last no more than two years. Within that timeframe, the Postal Service is expected to recoup its $2.8 billion loss. The postage increase “will last just long enough to recover the loss,”Commission Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway said.

Bulk mail, periodicals and package service rates will rise 6 percent. While most people do not use snail mail, and may not be affected by the price hike, the same is not true for charities and businesses like publishing or Amazon sales.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Postal Service, which lost $5 billion in the 2013 fiscal year is using this postage increase to leverage its budget gap. The New York-based Association of Magazine Media trade group, in an e-mail from its president Mary Berner, called the decision counterproductive and harmful to the postal service’s long-term prospects.

“It will drive more customers away from using the Postal Service and will have ripple effects through our economy - hurting consumers, forcing layoffs, and impacting businesses,” Berner, wrote. “It doesn’t delay the inevitable but will hasten it.” She added that the group is considering challenging the decision in court, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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