A nonprofit advocacy group for shippers is warning that an “unprecedented and excessive” postage stamp rate increase scheduled for July 9 will harm consumers and eventually lose money for the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service (USPS), according to the group, Keep US Posted.
To prevent those consequences, the group called on Congress to direct USPS regulatory body the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to look at the impact of recent postal stamp price hikes. Keep US Posted says those increases contradict Congress’ intent when it passed postal reform legislation in 2022.
Keep US Posted monitors U.S. Postal Service policies in order to represent the interests of consumers, nonprofits, newspapers, greeting card publishers, magazines, catalogs, and small businesses.
USPS initially filed notice of the pending change in April, asking the PRC to approve the price hike on the grounds that it was necessary to “address continued elevated inflation and prior years defective pricing model.” The PRC approved that request, so on July 9, USPS will institute a three-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 63 cents to 66 cents. The plan will raise First-Class Mail prices by about 5.4%, boosting the price for 1-ounce metered mail to 63 cents, and the price to send a domestic postcard to 51 cents.
However, Keep US Posted says the July increase marks the third such increase imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in 12 months—the most mailing rates have increased during the U.S. Postal Service’s 247-year history.
"With three unprecedented postage hikes in 12 months, USPS has kicked off runaway 'stampflation' like the U.S. has never seen, and it's making the situation worse. Each time stamp prices go up, mail volume goes down at an even faster pace than projected, and meanwhile, USPS faces more internal costs updating its system to implement each postage increase,” Keep US Posted Executive Director, and former Kansas Congressman, Kevin Yoder, said in a release.
“DeJoy’s stated intent has been to use stamp increases to bring in additional revenue, yet each hike drives down mail demand at a progressively faster rate and increases internal costs, meaning less revenue for USPS, no matter how much more a stamp costs. The result is additional strain on the system. Congress passed bipartisan postal reform in 2022 intending to prevent these excessive postage increases by bringing financial solvency to the Postal Service but USPS, under DeJoy’s leadership, has plowed ahead with pre-planned stamp increases, which will continue every six months. The American people need Congress to step in now and bring additional oversight to the USPS rate strategy, otherwise we could be looking at a situation where a federal bailout is necessary," Yoder said.