Postage Increases? Keep an Eye Out
On Monday, the Postal Regulatory Commission freed the U.S. Postal Service up to possibly raise rates on postage (opens as a PDF).
Both the PRC and USPS used language in the PRC decision indicating an inflation-based postage increase may coincide with the expiration of an exigent rate increase. The exigent rate increase is designed to help the postal service recover after the Great Recession.
On Tuesday, the Direct Marketing Association reacted with a statement emailed to Target Marketing.
"Although we do not agree with every point of the PRC's order, DMA and its members are pleased that a procedure has been established for the postal service to eliminate the exigent postal surcharge once it has recovered the losses due to the Great Recession," says Peggy Hudson, DMA's SVP of government affairs for DMA. "We particularly applaud the bi-weekly reporting requirement on revenues as the time for elimination of the surcharge approaches. This procedure will help avoid the overcharging of the American public."
On Tuesday, a USPS spokeswoman declined to comment on the PRC decision.
What a USPS spokesman said in October 2014, when announcing the postal service wouldn't raise rates in January, was the exigent rate increase needed to bring in $3.2 billion to offset losses from the Great Recession. That meant the 4.3 percent increase might stay in place until the second half of 2015. In the meantime, USPS was suing the PRC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit because the postal service believed the PRC "improperly and artificially truncated" the amount of money the USPS could collect from the rate increase (opens as a PDF).
On Monday, the PRC ordered the USPS to provide 45 days of notice before removing the exigent rate increase, to provide bi-weekly estimates of the money it's bringing in from the exigent rate increase beginning during the financial quarter USPS may be getting rid of the exigent rate increase; and Forever stamps are still good.