USPS seeks to raise Forever stamp rate by 5 cents

U.S. Postal Service. Photo: Ellsworth Air Force Base/Tech. Sgt. Shanda L. De Anda

Oct. 11 (UPI) — The U.S. Postal Service plans to raise prices on postage stamps and other products beginning in January 2019, the agency announced Wednesday.

The price of a postage stamp for a 1-ounce letter, which currently costs 50 cents, will be raised to 55 cents. But the cost for additional ounces will go down from 21 cents to 15 cents.

Postage for domestic postcards will not change, staying at 35 cents. The current $1.15 cost per ounce for international letters also will stay the same.

On average Mailing Services product prices will go up by approximately 2.5 percent, while Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail will go up by 3.9 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively.

The proposed price changes will be reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission before taking effect.

If approved, the 5-cent increase for a 1-ounce letter stamp would be the largest single-year increase for a stamp in USPS history. The agency’s last biggest bump in price for a 1-ounce letter stamp was 4 cents in 1991, going from 25 cents to 29 cents.

The Governors of the Postal Service said the price increases are necessary to provide “needed revenue” to the agency, which does not receive tax dollars.

“The Postal Service has some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer a great value in shipping,” the USPS said in a news release. “Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.”

In August, the USPS posted third-quarter losses of $1.49 billion, even though revenue increased from $17.07 billion from $16.67 billion, MarketWatch reported.

Last year, the USPS reported its 11th straight year of financial losses, prompting Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan to call on the government to allow the agency more freedom to raise prices.

Without the ability to do so, “our financial results will continue to deteriorate and likely at an accelerated rate,” Brennan said at the time. “We cannot generate enough revenue or cut enough costs to pay all of our bills.”


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