The U.S. Postal Service is trying to deliver themselves from a projected $7 billion shortfall in the 2011 fiscal year.
Today they filed proposed price changes for a variety of products with the Postal Regulatory Commission. The postal service website has a listing of some everyday items that could be impacted:
- First-class mail stamps would increase to 46 cents.
- First-class mail postcard prices would increase 2 cents to 30 cents.
- Periodicals would receive an 8 percent increase.
- Recommended increase for catalogs is 5.1 percent.
Officials with the post office went on the record, justifying the increase.
“This proposal is moderate and reasonable and carefully evaluated for its effect on our customers,” said Maura Robinson, vice president of pricing. “Increasing prices will help overcome some of the financial challenges faced by the Postal Service. We will continue to work with Congress and other stakeholders to implement long-term solutions.”
The Affordable Mail Alliance, however sees it another way. They are describing the price change as another tax imposed on Americans at a time when the economy can least afford it. They said large and small businesses will suffer from a postal rate hike, leading to the loss of more jobs around the country.
The Alliance does have one thing in their corner. The proposed price increases are above the rate of inflation, according to the postal service, and in order to have them passed, the post office will have to demonstrate "exceptional or extraordinary circumstance."
If the PRC okays the changes, the hike would generate $2.3 billion for the last three quarters of the 2011 fiscal year and an estimated $3 billion for fiscal year 2012. The new prices would take effect on Jan. 2, 2011.