The United States Postal Service has proposed an increase in its mailing prices on Wednesday, according to a Washington Post report on Wednesday. The increase being proposed goes beyond a statutory cap on rate hikes, and the higher rate would take effect in late January of 2014 if it is approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
The increase would increase the cost of a first-class stamp by three cents – from the current cost of 46 cents to 49 cents. The cost of letters weighing more than 1 ounce would increase 1 cent, as well as the same increase for a mailed-postcard. Besides letters and postcards, standard mailings, periodicals and package mailing would see an increase in mailing costs as well.
The present law guiding the United States Postal Service’s price increases dictates that the cost cannot exceed the current rate of inflation. However, the exception is that the Postal Regulatory Commission’s board can raise prices higher under extraordinary circumstances. United States Postal Service authorities assert that the increased costs are needed to help balance their books in place of postal-reform legislation which is not there. The chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, Mickey Barnett, stated via a letter to customers this past Monday that increasing postal prices is the last resort to meeting the agencies extreme financial challenges.
Last year, the Postal Service lost nearly $16 billion and is estimated to lose another $6 billion this year.