USPS proposes two cent increase on price of stamps

Posted by Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A looming deficit, limited resources and aging product have them fighting an uphill battle. Now the postal service is proposing a diverse plan involving cutting costs and new ways to make profit.

Part one though involves your pocketbook with stamp prices to be raised again.

"It's a very modest increase you're looking at about a 5.6 percent increase," said Tyler Postmaster James French. The proposal filed with the postal commission takes stamps two cents further to 46 cents postcards 28 to 30 cents.

"It's not really a big deal with me," said post office customer Bobby Harper.

"I don't really much mail anything anymore so it's not going to affect me a whole lot," said customer Sue Muller.

The USPS says it shouldn't affect customers, the average household would spend around 13 cents more per month starting in January 2011. "The postmaster general has made it clear he does not want to have the consumer bear the full cost of this price increase," said French.

In fact postal officials say stamp prices are only part of the solution against a seven billion dollar budget deficit. "You know there is a proposal to eliminate Saturday delivery we're also looking at continuing to reduce our operating costs," said French.

Future plans focus on not just how to save money but make it as well, post office officials say they have plans to open satellite locations everywhere from strip malls to grocery stores, hoping to give the public greater access. The proposal makes big steps towards fighting debt, but declining mail volume, rising fuel costs and overpayment of retirement benefits create shrinking budgets.

"We have actually decreased our operating expenses by 1 billion dollars each year since 2001," said French. Leaving the business relying on customers that are harder to come by.

Postal officials stress the price increase hasn't been voted on just yet, the postal rate commission has 90 days to respond to the request.  Meanwhile the decision on canceling Saturday mail service awaits a congressional vote.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.