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Betty C
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Betty C   My Press Releases

Another Year Another Increase Postage stamp prices go up Jan. 26

Published on 1/1/2014
For additional information  Click Here

The cost of mailing a first class letter goes up on Jan. 26. The cost increases by 3 cents per letter. The increase is called "temporary" and is on the books to last for two years.

Those owning "forever" stamps will not notice the rate increase until they go to purchase a new batch. After the rate increase a new "forever" stamp will cost 49 cents.

Bulk mail, packages and periodicals will also increase by 6 percent on Jan. 26. The cost of a post card is increasing by 1 cent to 33 cents.

While the rate increase is consistent with the request by the U.S. Postal Service the Postal Regulatory Commission refused to consider it a permanent rate increase, opting instead to call it an "exigent" increase. The Commission approved the increase by a 2 to 1 vote.

"The Commission's decision closely follows the law we are charged by the President and Congress to uphold," said Commission Chairwoman Ruth Y. Goldway. "The Postal Service will be reimbursed for exigent losses that can be reasonably quantified. We have determined that amount to be $2.8 billion to cover the 25.3 billion pieces of volume lost between 2008 and 2011. The funds will come from a rate surcharge that will last just long enough to recover the loss," she added.

By law the Commission must justify any postal increase above the Consumer Price Index. The new postal rate increase is 6 percent. The percentage increase allowed for inflation is 1.7 percent. The "extra" 4.3 percent increase represents the surcharge needed to cover the loss of mail volume resulting from the recession.

The Postal Service estimated the recession cut postal deliveries by 53.5 billion pieces of mail and cost it about $6.6 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2012 alone. The Postal Service estimates that by 2014 the total losses due to the recession will "approach $40 billion," according to the Postal Commission.

The Postal Service estimates the extra 4.3 percent increase will add $1.8 billion annually to the service's bottom line.

The Postal Commission did not fully side with the Postal Service's estimate of losses caused solely by the recession. The Commission attributes some of the USPS claimed recession effects to the shift by consumers to the internet.

Issued in 2007, the first forever stamp was worth 41 cents. If you had bought $1,000 worth, you could resell them next year for $1,195 a nearly 20 percent rate of return on investment.


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