Commission backs U.S. postal rate proposal

Feb. 26, 2007 at 3:43 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The independent Postal Regulatory Commission recommended that the U.S. Postal Service be allowed to implement a proposed increase in postal rates.

While the Postal Service had asked last May for the ability to increase the cost of a first-class stamp to 42 cents, the commission amended the measure to raise the first-class stamp's cost by 2 cents to 41 cents.

The commission agreed with the Postal Service's assessment that without such postal increases it would have difficulties matching postal revenues to rising costs.

In addition to other postal increases, the regulatory group approved the Postal Service's request for the implementation of a "Forever Stamp." The "Forever Stamp" would be sold for the price of a 1-ounce first-class letter stamp and is oriented toward making the public's transition to new letter rates a smooth affair.

Commission Chairman Dan G. Blair defended the regulatory group's decision to recommend a 7.6-percent average increase in postal rates.

"In nearly every category of mail, including non-profits, the commission approved rate increases equal to or below the Postal Service's request, while still meeting the Service's revenue requirement," he said.

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