USPS Raises Stamp Prices - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

USPS Raises Stamp Prices

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The US Postal service has raised the price of a first class stamp to 49 cents as of Sunday. It's the biggest price hike from the postal service in more than a decade.

The increase that took effect on Sunday raised the price of a first class stamp three cents. The price of a postcard stamp also increased by a penny.

The US Postal service says, when it comes to these price increases, it had no choice.

"The Postal Service is not tax supported," explained Richard Watkins, a USPS spokesperson, "We rely solely on the sale of postage and other services to maintain our delivery network."

That is very expensive to maintain, Watkins said, and the postage stamp price increase should go a long way to help with those costs.

"It really covers our cost of collecting, sorting, and delivering the mail," he said.

"It's a last resort. That's what it really is. What the postal service is looking for is a way to close a 20 billion dollar budget gap," he added.

Watkins says fewer people are buying stamps these days because of a big increase in the number of folks paying their bills online. That means the Postal Service is bringing in less revenue than what it takes to run its operations.

"As our cost continues to rise because our nationwide delivery network grows, that means more places, more addresses that we need to deliver to, our revenue continues to decline given the significant decrease in level of mail, particularly first class mail," Watkins said.

The latest price hike has a lot of people unhappy. But, at least some say they understand.

"It's not going to break my pockets," said one postal customer, Ronald Neels.

"They need their vehicles. They need this money to function and to be able to bring us our mail," he said.

USPS officials hope Congress will enact legislation to help close the funding gap.

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