Impact of Next Week’s Postal Rate Hike
Keep US Posted — a nonprofit advocacy group of consumers, nonprofits, newspapers, greeting card publishers, magazines, catalogs and small businesses — is warning Americans that stamp prices are set to increase on July 9 for the second time in 2023, and cautioning that if such unprecedented and excessive postage increases continue, Americans could be facing a government bailout of the U.S. Postal Service. The July increase marks the third such increase in 12 months — the most mailing rates have increased during the U.S. Postal Service’s 247-year history.
“If you don’t have Forever stamps, now is a good time to stock up,” said Keep US Posted Executive Director and former Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.). "With three unprecedented postage hikes in 12 months, USPS has kicked off runaway 'stampflation' like the U.S. has never seen, and it's making the situation worse. Each time stamp prices go up, mail volume goes down at an even faster pace than projected, and meanwhile, USPS faces more internal costs updating its system to implement each postage increase. For example, after January's rate increase went into effect, mail volume immediately decreased nearly 9% year-over-year, while expenses increased by 16%.”
Yoder continued, “DeJoy’s stated intent has been to use stamp increases to bring in additional revenue, yet each hike drives down mail demand at a progressively faster rate and increases internal costs, meaning less revenue for USPS, no matter how much more a stamp costs. The result is additional strain on the system. Congress passed bipartisan postal reform in 2022 intending to prevent these excessive postage increases by bringing financial solvency to the Postal Service but USPS, under DeJoy’s leadership, has plowed ahead with pre-planned stamp increases, which will continue every six months. The American people need Congress to step in now and bring additional oversight to the USPS rate strategy, otherwise we could be looking at a situation where a federal bailout is necessary."
"Congress should direct the Postal Regulatory Commission to look at the impact of these excessive increases and take up the many pending petitions to review the rate-setting system to account for the impact of the postal reform legislation meant to prevent excessive rate increases. Given the increasing and alarming volume losses that are occurring, our country cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the impact of these increases."
In May, Keep US Posted submitted analysis to Congress challenging the U.S. Postal Service’s plans to continue increasing postage rates twice per year. Commissioned by the Greeting Card Association, a Keep US Posted member organization, the analysis exposes serious flaws in the Delivering for America plan’s projections and calls into question the viability of excessive postage rate increases. Specifically, the report notes that mail volumes were better than forecast initially, but the recent pattern of twice-a-year rate increases have led to a perilous loss of mail. The May economic analysis, including a letter with top findings, is available here: https://a7e48fd9-ebbb-4ed4-a00c-560567a5d282.usrfiles.com/ugd/a7e48f_92bcdf23d66c4e9080f3e669901e1b5b.pdf
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