Stamps Increase Could Take Effect by January, Price Set to Rise 3 Cents

The Unites States Postal Service is seeking to increase the price of stamps by three cents to overcome a budget shortfall.

The Board of Governors of the Postal Service is seeking a 6.5 percent increase for first-class postage from 46 cents to 49 cents that would be effective from January 26 of next year due to the project multi-billion dollar budget shortfall caused by declining mail use.

Other mail, including postcards, packages, and bulk mail would also see a rate increase. For example, postcards would increase by a penny to 34 cents.

The proposed increase would not affect current rate stamps and consumers would be able to use them until they run out of them. This particular stamps increase proposal must be approved by the Independent Regulatory Commission because it exceeds the rate of inflation.

The Postal Service has seen a dramatic decline in use due to other package delivery service and email. The USPS projected a loss of $6 billion in 2013.

A magazine industry trade group executive revealed to ABC that "no private company would increase prices when sales are already plummeting. (This) will cause significant declines in mail volume and further job losses across the industry without addressing the USPS' core issues."

There is still a proposal pending in Congress that would eliminate Saturday mail delivery in order to cut costs. The Post Office is obligated to make a $5.6 billion payment each year for future retiree health which is putting a strain on the agency.

Another focus is the actual use of stamps as a source of revenue. The Postal Service is reportedly paying a consulting firm to predict how stamps will be used in the future.

"To devise strategies both to slow the 'predictable decline' in stamp use and to 'reinvent and reimagine' stamp relevance to promote growth," according to the Federal Times.