The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is set to increase the price of first-class stamps to 73 cents, marking the fourth hike in less than two years.

This proposal, which also raises rates for metered letters and postcards, awaits approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission and could take effect as early as July.

These adjustments are part of a broader strategy to revitalize the financially struggling USPS by aligning costs with operational needs amidst declining mail usage.

If sanctioned, this change will follow recent adjustments including a rise from 66 to 68 cents earlier this year.

USPS Plans Fourth Stamp Price Hike in Two Years

Proposed Stamp Price Increase by USPS

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced a proposal to increase the price of first-class stamps to 73 cents, a move that marks the fourth rate hike in under two years. If the Postal Regulatory Commission approves this change, new rates would be implemented by July and include:

  • Metered 1-Ounce Letters: Increase from current rates to 69 cents
  • International One-Ounce Letters and Postcards: Jump to $1.65
  • Domestic Postcards: Rise to 56 cents

This latest proposal follows two price increases in 2023, continuing a trend that has seen the cost of a first-class stamp climb approximately 84% over the past two decades.

USPS Plans Fourth Stamp Price Hike in Two Years

Public Reaction to Rising Costs

The public has expressed significant concern over the frequent rate increases. Jacqueline Pollen, a senior citizen on a fixed income, regards the escalating prices as “ridiculous” and feels they disproportionately impact her finances. She relies increasingly on Forever stamps purchased at lower prices and has shifted towards using E-cards and emails to reduce costs. On the other hand, Manhattan local Albert Quiles accepts the changes as inevitable, acknowledging that these adjustments are part of broader economic shifts.

Strategic Goals Behind the Price Hikes

These price adjustments are integral to the USPS’s “Delivering for America” plan, a ten-year strategy initiated in March 2021 aimed at achieving financial sustainability and improving performance. Despite these efforts, the USPS reported a $6.5 billion loss in 2023, with a slight 0.4% drop in revenue to $78.2 billion and a historic low in first-class mail usage since 1968.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has warned that substantial increases are necessary to correct underpricing issues exacerbated by inflation and a previously flawed pricing model. He anticipates further price adjustments as part of the path to financial stability.

Comparative Analysis of Stamp Prices

Despite these increases, a 2023 USPS survey found that U.S. stamp prices are still lower than those in many other countries. The price for mailing a standard domestic letter remains nearly half that of the average in the 31 countries surveyed, according to a report by the USPS Office of Inspector General.

These proposed changes by the USPS reflect ongoing efforts to adapt to economic conditions and ensure the agency’s sustainability amid decreasing demand for traditional mail services.

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