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USPS hiking postage rates again: Thanks for the 'help,' Congress

USPSlogo072711_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The United States Postal Service is considered an independent operation subject to rules of Congress, which may explain a lot of their problems.

In an effort to stop its financial bleeding, the USPS has announced another increase in postal rates.

Beginning on January 27, 2013, "Forever" stamps will increase one penny in price to 46 cents, according to a Reuters report. There will also be a new, global Forever stamp offered in January, which allows customers to send letters anywhere in the world for the set price of $1.10.

Postcards will increase in price to 33 cents, and according to abc2news.com, new prices for Priority Mail will be $5.80 for a small box, $12.35 for a medium, and $16.85 for a large. A large APO/FPO box will cost $14.85. A regular envelope will now be $5.60, a legal envelope $5.75, and a padded envelope is $5.95.

The good news? Confirmation of package delivery will now be free.

The USPS lost $5.2 billion between April and June. They defaulted on two payments of $11.1 billion to the Treasury for future retiree health benefits earlier this year because of a lack of funds.

An Associated Press story in the Washington Post reported that the Postal Service cannot legally raise stamp prices more than the rate of inflation, or 2.6 percent, without permission from Congress. The USPS expects to lose $15 billion total in 2012.

"The Postal Service is in a financial crisis, and pricing adjustments are one way to increase revenue to help to return to sound financial footing," Katina Fields, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service said, according to CNN Money. "We also urgently need enactments of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model."

Congress says they won’t help the Postal Service until after the elections, and possibly until the new Congress starts in January.

 
Comments (1)
1 Monday, 15 October 2012 16:24
SJS
Paper mail is becoming a thing of the past. Time to downsize the postal service.
We check our home mail about once a week. It mostly just goes into the recycle
bin as the vast majority of mail is just ads, flyers and political crap.
Most all important communication is electronic.

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