Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Some USPS rates set to increase May 31

May 07, 2015 02:39 PM

The Postal Regulatory Commission has given its approval to a series of price increases that the United States Postal Service plans to implement May 31.

The approval came May 7 after the commission forced postal officials to twice revise their proposed increases to advertising mail, packages and periodical rates, saying that the initial proposals could not be allowed under the laws governing the annual rate increases that the Postal Service may impose.

A request for changes in first-class rates and special services increases had won quick approval from the commission.

But the Postal Service decided to delay the increases until all the higher rates it wanted could be imposed on the same date. This would be less confusing for major mailers, the USPS said.

The first-class price changes do not increase the 49¢ price of a single-piece first class letter, but they add half a cent to the price of a single-piece of metered mail, bringing that price to 48.5¢.

The price of an additional ounce for a first-class letter rises to 22¢ from 21¢, and the single-piece postcard rate rises to 35¢ from 34¢.

"The USPS fixed discriminatory disparities in standard (advertising) mail work share discounts between commercial and nonprofit mailers," said Stephen M. Kearney, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.

"…[It] moved the revenue per piece from non profits standard (advertising) mail as closely as practicable to 60 percent of that of commercial standard mail," he said. "It also slightly lowered the impact on light-weight, low-advertising nonprofit periodicals."

The alliance had strongly protested the proposed new rates for nonprofit magazines, saying that publications that do not accept advertising would be greatly impacted by much higher prices.

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