The potential decline in price would be due to the last rate hike being established through a surcharge; if it wasn’t renewed, then its authorization would run out and rates would have to decline.
This prospect was met with a lot of trepidation by the USPS, which has been steadily losing revenue for some time. The surcharge was meant to help bolster its earnings, but with it running out, things were looking grim.
“The exigent surcharge granted to the Postal Service last year only partially alleviated our extreme multi-year revenue declines resulting from the Great Recession, which exceeded $7 billion in 2009 alone. . . Removing the surcharge and reducing our prices is an irrational outcome considering the Postal Service’s precarious financial condition,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, in a statement.
Nevertheless, the rate cut took effect as of yesterday. While consumers can expect to pay slightly less for stamps going forward, the rate cut will invariably take a large financial toll on the USPS. Brennan estimates that the agency stands to lose $2 billion annually now that the surcharge is no longer in place.
The adjustments for stamp prices are as follows:
- Rates on First Class Mail Letters weighing one ounce have gone down two cents, from $0.49 to $0.47. A cost of $0.21 will be added for each additional ounce.
- Rates on First Class Mail Flats weighing one ounce will have gone down four cents, from $0.98 to $0.94. A cost of $0.21 will be added for each additional ounce.
- Rates on First Class Mail Letters weighing once ounce that fall under the “Metered Mail” category have gone down by two cents, from $0.485 to $0.465. A cost of $0.21 will be added for each additional ounce.
- Rates on postcards have gone down by one cent, from $0.35 to $0.34.