Post Office Raising First Class Stamps To 49 Cents Next Month

BRYAN, Texas The U.S. Postal Service fared relatively well in terms of delivery deadlines this holiday, but now that the Christmas package rush is over, they're looking ahead to how to stay afloat come the new year.

And that plan calls for a rate increase of three cents a stamp.

News 3 got a feel for how customers are taking the news.

Exactly one month from now first class stamps will cost you 49 cents each.

It's part of a temporary price hike to help recover from losses as first class mail volume continues to fall.

The price you'll pay for first class stamps will be jumping up from 46 cents to 49 at the end of January.

That's something Charlie Sauceda of Bryan didn't want to hear.

"Oh my gosh that's going to hurt everybody's wallet because everybody buys rolls and that's expensive. I think the last time I checked it was almost $38 or $40 for a roll or the booklet. They're getting too expensive," said Sauceda.

Regulators rejected making the price hike permanent so it will last for no more than two years. This past fiscal year the Postal Service reported losing $5 billion.

The hike is expected to help the postal service recoup more than half of that.

In 2006 Congress started requiring the postal service make annual $5.6 billion payouts for future retiree's health care costs. While subject to Congressional control, the Postal Service doesn't receive tax money for operations.

Carlos Rodriguez of Bryan understands why they want to raise rates and has been following what's happening in Washington.

"You know I remember when stamps were like 24 cents, so it's been a gradual increase over the last 10, 15 years. So you know I understand kind of what they are going through. They're trying to do the best they can and in some ways it's to be expected... I'm not so concerned about the increase now but where are they gonna be in five, 10 years," said Rodriguez.

Charlie Sauceda predicts she'll be making less trips to the post office in the new year.

"I'll pay online or find a way to pay it through my credit cards or cards instead of having to use the postal service, because that's getting too expensive," she said.

We reached out to the College Station Post Office and public relations officials for comment.

While no one was available for an on camera interview Thursday a statement from U.S.P.S. Headquarters said,

"The Postal Service is disappointed in the Postal Regulatory Commission's split decision to limit the duration of a modest exigent rate increase. We are reviewing the decision in an attempt to determine the basis for the Commission's decision. We will provide additional comments later."

You can still buy forever stamps which are good for first class postage regardless of rate increases at the current price, until the rate increase next month.

Postcard stamps will also be climbing a penny to 34 cents next month too.


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