Earlier this week, the United States Post Office (USPS) governors set the kick-off of a new stamp price increase for the 14th of May. This is based on a proposal mentioned in a series of press releases printed last year, in which the governors introduced the concept of a “forever stamp” to accompany a rise in the cost of stamps to $.49.
The “forever stamp” will work like this:
The price to send a one-ounce letter will rise to 49¢.
You buy “forever stamps.”
You use your forever stamps for as long as you have them until you run out, regardless of how long this takes and any subsequent increase in the price of stamps.
Included in the plan along with the forever stamp are the following postage prices (as reflected in a press release dated the 19th of March, 2007):
- First Class Mail (Letters, Bill Payment; Greeting Card) = $0.49
- Wedding Invitation (2-ounce) = $0.58
- Postcard = $0.26
- Priority Mail (Flat Rate Envelope) = $4.60
- (Flat Rate Box) = $9.15*
- (12-oound from Chicago to Los Angeles) = $24.10
- Express Mail (Flat Rate Envelope) = $16.25
- (1-pound package) = $19.50
- Parcel Post (1-pound package) = $4.50
- (5-pound from Chicago to Los Angeles) = $9.50
- Bank Statement (2 ounces, 3-digit, barcoded) = $0.459
- Utility Bill (5-digit, barcoded) = $0.312
*Price of Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box still in negotiation.
While the above prices were all accepted (with the one exception), the governors are requesting reconsideration from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding the price proposals for standard mail flats, Non-machinable surcharge, and the flat rate boxes as mentioned above.
These prices were not approved because they were higher than what was proposed and the governors feel that the hike in price for these particular objects would be too great. The non-machinable mail price was not approved because there is no difference in price between machinable and non-machinable first-class two to three-ounce letters.
Although not included on the list, there is a new price for periodicals which will go into effect on the 15th of July, leaving enough time for companies to update their systems. Exact pricing information was unavailable, but the PRC recommended a range of 55 different prices for the sending of periodicals.
Many may wonder about the need for an increase in stamp price. Reasons cited include most importantly the rising cost of gas and energy needs in general. Because it is unknown as to how soon the price will again rise, you might want to buy a nice collection of “forever stamps” to last.