Good news for consumers, commercial mailers and nonprofits — the U.S. Postal Service announced last week that they do not expect to increase postage for letters and other flat mail throughout 2016. In fact, the price of postage may actually decrease mid-way through the year!
This announcement was not totally unexpected. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 prohibits the USPS from increasing the price of postage faster than the rate of inflation, and inflation has been less than 2% per year since 2012. When the USPS asked for special authorization to increase first-class postal rates by 6.5% in January 2014 to help them recover from the 2007-2009 recession, regulators would only approve the exemption for two years.
A case filed by the USPS against the Postal Regulatory Commission has been wending its way through the court system ever since. This June, the DC Court of Appeals ruled that the USPS could continue to charge the 4.3% exigent rate adjustment until it had brought in an additional $1.2 billion in revenues. The USPS expects to reach this threshold around April of next year, at which time postage rates may actually decrease by a penny or two.
The cost of sending a letter has been steadily climbing for decades, and the USPS is continuing to lose money. Let’s enjoy this short break while it lasts!
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