The cost of a First Class postage stamp will go from 37 cents to 39 cents in January if, as expected, the Postal Service's Board of Governors approves the rate hikes recommended by the independent Postal Rate Commission last week, the Associated Press reports. The Postal Service had requested an across-the-board increase of 5.4 percent, which was accepted by the Commission with a few revisions.
Media and Book rates were increased to 12.7 percent and increases for nonprofits and local newspapers were reduced to 2.3 percent. Nonprofits are expected to pay $17 million less than expected, the Chatham Journal Weekly reported.
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The rate increases, the first in three years, will enable the Postal Service to make an escrow payment of $3.1 billion in 2006 that is mandated by Congress. A bill that would make changes in Postal Service operations and eliminate the payment has been passed by the House, but is pending in the Senate.
Rates on all classes of mail, including Priority Mail, Express Mail and Certified Mail will go up. The increase is below the rise in the Consumer Price Index over that period, according to the Chatham Journal Weekly.
The Postal Service also announced that Express Mail deliveries will be made 365 days this year, including December 25.
The deadline for first class mail to be delivered by December 24 is December 19th, according to the Postal Service. Holiday domestic shipping deadlines are:
- Parcel Post â December 14
- Priority Mail â December 21
- Express Mail â December 23