Apr 9, 2024 - Business

Postal Service proposes one of its biggest-ever stamp price hikes

USPS Forever stamps on envelopes

The USPS is proposing an increase of the price of a first-class stamp starting in July 2024. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The price of postage stamps could increase by 5 cents in July under a new United States Postal Service proposal announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: If approved, the increase would tie the record as the highest stamp hike ever.

  • Costs to send a letter by certified mail and money order fees would also increase under the proposal.

The big picture: This would be the 19th stamp rate change since 2000 — and comes as Americans continue to reduce what they send via snail mail.

Flashback: The only other 5-cent increase happened in January 2019 when the price of a first-class stamp increased from 50 to 55 cents.

  • Most increases have been between 2 to 3 cents.
  • Between the 1970s and 2000, rates increased three to four times a decade, USPS data shows.

USPS stamp increase could start July 14

Driving the news: USPS filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission Tuesday to raise prices by approximately 7.8% effective July 14, 2024.

  • If approved, the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp would increase from 68 cents to 73 cents.

USPS stamp hikes

What's next: More price increases are expected as part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's 10-year Delivering for America plan "to achieve financial stability."

  • USPS said in a statement Tuesday the price adjustments are needed as "changes in the mailing and shipping marketplace continue."

What they're saying: "The USPS consistently blames frequent postage hikes on inflation, but inflation is just a talking point, when rate increases are consistently far and above the Consumer Price Index," Kevin Yoder, executive director of the advocacy group Keep US Posted, said in a statement.

  • "Price hikes are driving disastrous declines in mail volume, which is still the biggest money-maker for the USPS," said Yoder, a former Republican congressman from Kansas.

Zoom in: The number of pieces of mail handled by the post office has been on the decline in recent years as more people pay bills online and fewer send physical thank you cards.

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