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The Washington Times: First-class stamps set to rise 3 cents in July

The price of stamps will increase this summer under a plan announced Monday by the U.S. Postal Service, with the cost of mailing a bill or letter rising to 66 cents from the current 63 cents. It comes less than six months after the last rate hike and would be the third in a year.

The postal service blamed inflation and “the effects of a previously defective pricing model” for the continuing rate hikes, which have hit every six months in recent years. The last rate increase took effect Jan. 22, a little more than six months after a July 10, 2022, hike.

The Postal Regulatory Commission has to approve the planned hikes, which would go into effect July 9. While first-class mail rates would rise to 66 cents for the first ounce, the current 24-cent charge for each additional ounce would remain unchanged. Metered first-class letters would rise from 60 cents to 63 cents for the first ounce.

Also increasing would be the cost of domestic and international postcards, one-ounce international letters, certified mail, post office box rentals, money order fees and mailing insurance.

“The Postal Service continues to offer a great value in mailing and has some of the lowest rates in the industrialized world and is self-funded and generally does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses. It relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations,” USPS spokesman David P. Coleman wrote in an email to The Washington Times.

Periodic rate increases are viewed as an essential part of the agency’s “Delivering for America” plan announced in 2021. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in July 2022, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said: “It’s going to take several years before we can ease up” on rate hikes, “especially in this inflationary environment.”

Kevin Yoder, a former Republican member of Congress from Kansas who heads Keep US Posted, which advocates for “a more reliable and affordable” mail service, said the frequent price increases “are unprecedented and unsustainable.”

“This strategy is not even working. Each time rates go up, mail volume goes down. In fact, after January’s rate increase went into effect, mail volume immediately decreased nearly 9% year-over-year, while expenses increased by 16%,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Yoder called on the Postal Regulatory Commission to reject the price increases “in the name of protecting this critical public service.”

A complete rundown of the USPS’ price filing is on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s website under the Daily Listings section at prc.gov/dockets/daily and Docket No. R2023-2.


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