(NEXSTAR) – In January, sending a piece of mail became more expensive than ever after the United States Postal Service enacted its third price hike in roughly a year.
Now, USPS is asking for yet another price hike to offset inflation.
On Monday, USPS filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission asking for price changes across multiple services, including First-Class Mail Forever stamps. If the proposed increases are approved, prices for First-Class Mail would rise about 5.4% “to offset the rise in inflation,” the federal agency said.
That includes a 3-cent increase on Forever stamps, which would push them to 66 cents. USPS raised the cost of Forever stamps in January from 60 cents to 63 cents.
Forever stamps, regardless of when they are purchased, are accepted in perpetuity, hence the name. That means if you have some already — even if you bought them at a lower price — the stamps are still accepted to mail letters.
In addition to the price of Forever stamps, the cost of sending a 1-ounce letter would also rise to 66 cents if USPS’s proposed changes are approved.
Here’s a look at the USPS’s proposed prices:
|Product||Current Prices||Proposed Prices|
|Letters (1 oz.)||63 cents||66 cents|
|Letters (metered 1 oz.)||60 cents||63 cents|
|Domestic Postcards||48 cents||51 cents|
|International Letter (1 oz.)||$1.45||$1.50|
Price changes are also being sought for Certified Mail, Post Office Box rental fees, money order fees, and insurance purchased when mailing an item.
“As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan,” USPS said in a Monday press release. “The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world.”
The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have already approved these changes. Should they be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the price hikes would take effect on July 9, 2023.
First-class mail, which many Americans likely use to send letters and postcards and to pay bills, brings in the most revenue for USPS, according to Reuters. In 2022, first-class mail generated $24.2 billion, nearly one-third of the agency’s total revenue of $78.8 billion.
Alix Martichoux contributed to this report.