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Postal rate increases are targeted for July

Postal rates are scheduled to take a jump in July, but don’t worry, you won’t have to buy new stamps.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Postal rates are scheduled to take a jump in July, but don’t worry, you won’t have to buy new stamps.

The cost to mail a one-ounce First-Class letter will remain 34 cents, but the rate for additional ounces will increase. Additional ounces currently cost an extra 21 cents. Staring July 1, the rate will increase to 23 cents.

Another major increase will be in the certified mail rate. The current certified letter rate is $1.90, but in July the rate will increase to $2.10 for certified letters.

Postcard rates will also increase, the first since 1995. Starting July 1, postcard postage will raise 1 cent, costing 21 cents.

Express Mail services will also be affected by the rate hike. A package weighing from one-half pound up to 2 pounds and flat-rate envelopes will raise 25 cents, costing postal consumers $16.25.

According to information from the U.S. Postal Service, the agency could be facing up to a $2-billion loss. The agency cites multiple factors, including a weakening economy and increasing fuel prices and personnel expenses.

In addition to the rate hike on certain parcels, the Postal Service has cut capital commitments by $1 billion and has imposed a hiring freeze for administrative personnel.

Postal Service officials stress that the agency does not run on tax dollars. The agency has supported itself since 1982. A memorandum from the service reads, "since the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operations and relies solely on the sale of postal products and services to cover operating costs, price adjustments are necessary to respond to changes in the cost of doing business."