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Domestic First-Class Mail Rate Increases To 46 Cents

Prices for several postal rates will see an increase next year, including a 1-cent increase to 46 cents for first-class domestic letters and a 5-cent increase to $1.10 for international letters.

The price for First-Class Mail single-piece letters will increase by just a penny when prices change on January 1, 2013.

For the second year-in-a-row, the cost of mailing a letter first class will increase modestly — this time up to 46 cents for a letter. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective on Jan. 27, 2013.

New 46 cent "Forever" stamps will allow customers to mail letters to any location in the United States. Forever stamps are always good for mailing a one-ounce letter anytime in the future regardless of price changes.

Other mail rates are rising as well.

Postcard stamps will also increase one penny, up to 33 cents.

International mail will see the biggest hike: It will now cost $1.10 to send letters abroad, up from $1.05 cents. 

USPS also announced several new shipping services will be available in January, including free tracking for Standard Post (formerly "Parcel Post") and Priority Mail. Also new, customers shipping Critical Mail letters and flats will now have the option of receiving a signature upon delivery as part of the service offering.

A large variety of flat-rate boxes and envelopes for Express Mail and Priority Mail, including the padded and legal-sized flat rate envelopes will continue to be offered by the Postal Service.

The price increase comes in the midst of significant financial troubles for the U.S. Postal Service as the volume of mail decreases.

The Postal Service has twice defaulted on a scheduled retiree health benefits prefunding payments to the U.S. Treasury on Aug. 1 and Sept. 30. It ended the third quarter with a net loss to $11.6 billion, and it delivered 1.4 billion fewer pieces of mail in the third quarter of 2012 than in 2011. 

“We urgently need the legislative changes noted above to restore our short-term liquidity and provide a stable base for the future," said Acting Chief Financial Officer Stephen Masse. "In the meantime, we will prioritize our cash resources to ensure that we deliver on our mission.”

Renton currently maintains two USPS locations, including its main post office in the Highlands and a smaller branch in downtown Renton.

D. Charles January 03, 2013 at 12:43 AM
It's well past time to get rid of the people running the Postal Service. The reason being they fail to recognize the old business model where "first class postage pays for all the discounted mail" does not work any more. Today, when you get your mail 9 or 10 out of 10 items are being handled at a discounted postage rate. What does the Postal Service do? They pull out the whip and put it to the nearly dead horse, except for Christmas cards, first class postage. They've tried this for the past 10 years. How has that worked out? Throw the bums out and get people in that grasp the business model has to fit what the Postal Service is actually handling.

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