The only thing coming down is the rain
That was an old saying of my late father. The US Postal Service wants another rate hike. My answer- Bloody hell, no! You just had one this year. That said, this request will probably go through. Maybe it will encourage more of my correspondence chess opponents to take up email. It will save us both money.
Hat tip- Poliblog
Open Post- Diane's Stuff, Stop the ACLU,
WASHINGTON - The Postal Service said Wednesday it wants to raise the price of a first-class stamp by 3 cents — to 42 cents — and proposed a "forever" stamp that people could use as hedge against future rate increases.
The changes would take effect in the spring of 2007 if approved by the independent Postal Rate Commission.
"A forever stamp would help ease the transition to any future price adjustments," board Chairman James C. Miller III said.
Postmaster General John E. Potter said the agency would not be making a rate change if it were not necessary.
"The Postal Service is not immune to the cost pressures affecting every household and business in America," he said.
For example, each penny increase in the price of a gallon of gasoline costs the post office $8 million, and payroll, health expenses and other costs also have been rising.
And, unlike private delivery companies, the post office cannot simply add a fuel surcharge to its rates.
In addition to the increase in first-class prices, the package of rate changes includes boosts in other categories — and even some rate cuts.
For example, while the first ounce of a letter would rise 3 cents to 42 cents, additional ounces would cost 20 cents instead of the current 24 cents. That means a saving on heavier items such as wedding invitations. The cost to mail a 2-ounce letter would drop from 63 cents to 62 cents.
Other changes would include Express Mail, flat rate up from $14.40 to $16.25; 2-ounce barcoded bank statement, down from 54.5 cents to 48.6 cents; bulk-mailed weekly newsmagazine, up from 17.9 cents to 20 cents; presorted catalog, up from 32.1 cents to 33.6 cents; post card, up from 24 cents to 27 cents.
The forever stamp would help soften the blow of a rate increase by allowing customers to stock up. As originally proposed it would sell for the first class rate and, once purchased, the special stamp would remain valid for whatever the first-class rate is when it is used, regardless of future increases.
Once the post office proposes a rate change, including the new stamp, the matter goes to the Postal Rate Commission, which holds hearings and has 10 months to consider the matter before responding.
The earliest a change would take effect would be May 2007.