This rate change request was approved February 24th. See the update here.
In order to get a rate increase of three cents all at once, the USPS promised not to raise the cost to mail a letter for three years. Strictly speaking, it has adhered to that agreement, while at the same seeking a hike in rates. How?
The basic cost to mail a letter will remain 49 cents, but if it weighs more than an ounce, the USPS would like to collect 22 cents per additional ounce, a penny more than at present. Letters to anywhere outside the U.S., even Canada, will cost 5 cents more. And postcards will cost a penny more to mail.
All of these are requests, subject to regulatory approval. If approved, they would go into effect April 26th.
The USPS also warns that it may raise its various package-shipping services, such as Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express (overnight delivery, formerly Express Mail) and Parcel Post. These do not require regulatory approval and, since they are in competition with private services, are not capped by the rate of inflation.
One more quibble: As it often does, the USPS reminds us it does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses. However, it does get tax dollars for the “free franking” (free postage) afford the White House and Members of Congress, and it is also not subject to state and local taxes.
The USPS press release is below:
Forever Stamp Prices Unchanged
Postal Service Committed to Growth; Action Taken to Increase Needed Revenue
WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service today filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of a price increase for Mailing Services products based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap authority. The filing, if approved, would keep Forever Stamps at their current price of 49 cents.
The First-Class Mail prices for these products are:
- Letters (1 oz.) remains at 49 cents
- Letters additional ounces, from 21 cents to 22 cents
- Letters to all international destinations, from $1.15 to $1.20
- Postcards, from 34 cents to 35 cents
Today’s action is the latest in a series of steps the Postal Service has taken as part of a comprehensive approach to achieve financial stability. By growing volume, revenue and contribution, the Postal Service will continue to meet America’s mailing and shipping needs well into the future. While improving efficiency in streamlining its network and seeking legislative changes, the Postal Service must address an outdated business model.
Some of the key elements of the proposal include the following:
- Maintains single-piece stamp prices at 49 cents
- Addresses PRC concerns about underwater products
- Simplifies Special Services to reduce redundancy and improve customer ease of use
The filing does not affect Postal Service Shipping products and services and are proposed to become effective on April 26, 2015.
The PRC will review the prices before they are proposed to become effective on April 26, 2015, to determine if prices are consistent with applicable law.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.