One-cent stamp hike at least a year away

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2000

News Editor

Jan. 11, 2000 10 PM

Lettermailers can sit back and relax; the proposed one-cent stamp increase by the United States Postal Service will not go into effect until January 2001 at the earliest.

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The Postal Service has proposed the increase that will raise the price of a first-class stamp from 33 cents to 34 cents, but Cody Ward, postmaster for the Troy Post Office, said the increase will not occur any time soon. The Board of Governor’s approved the request for the increase, but before the increase is approved it will have to go before the Postal Rate Commission.

"The very earliest we will see the increase is early next year," said Ward. "If the U.S. Postal Service has a good year it will whittle the increase down even more."

Ward said he didn’t want people to worry about the increase now, and come in to purchase new 34-cent stamps. He said the post office will still be operating with the 33-cent stamps for a while to come.

"The increase is just a proposal right now," he said. "We won’t know anything for at least nine to 10 months. The proposal doesn’t come back near the way it is when it is sent in. We give them what we want to see improved, but it is never the same."

The proposed increase request will be filed with the Postal Rate Commission, who Ward said will review the proposal and hear testimonies of other mailing companies before a final decision is made. The PRC is appointed by the President of the United States.

The U.S. Postal Service recieves no tax dollars for operations, and relies solely on the sale of its products and services to cover operating expenses throughout the year. There has not been an increase in the price of the first-class stamp since January 1999, which was also a one-cent increase.

Ward said there may be an increase in 2001, but like other increases, the Post Master General said it will not be more than the rate of inflation.