By Bill McAllisterWashington Correspondent
The first-class letter rate is to rise to 49¢ Jan. 26, and in an advisory sent to mailers Jan. 8, the United State Postal Service confirmed it will accept that increase.
The size of the rate increase might test the popularity of the forever stamps that sold for 46¢ prior to the Jan. 26 jump.
Under an emergency increase approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the postcard rate will increase 1¢ to 34¢, and all international letters will rise 5¢, to $1.15.
Also, the charge for additional ounces in first-class mail will increase 1¢, to 21¢.
The notice of the higher rates came as the Postal Service board of governors, which had to approve the increases, met in Las Vegas.
There was no immediate announcement on whether the board planned to challenge the commission’s decision to allow the emergency increase to last only two years.
Postal Service spokesman Roy Betts told Linn’s that production on stamps for the new denominations did not start until the afternoon of Jan. 8.
The Postal Service had to wait until the board approved the rates before production could begin on denominated stamps matching the new rates.
The affected issues include the 21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp, the 34¢ Hummingbird stamp, the 70¢ Great-Spangled Fritillary stamp, the 70¢ C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson stamp, the 91¢ Ralph Ellison stamp, the $5.60 Verrazano Bridge Priority Mail stamp and the $19.99 USS Arizona Memorial stamp. All of these stamps have scheduled issue dates in February and March.
The upcoming 91¢ Ralph Ellison stamp in the Literary Art series is pictured on page 10 of this issue of Linn’s.