USPS Needs Exigency Rate Extension, Sen. Says
USPS could see a temporary 4.3 percent postal rate increase become permanent. That’s if Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) gets his way. He came a bit closer to making the exigent rate increase permanent on Wednesday, when three bipartisan senators joined his cause, sponsoring the bill named “Improving Postal Operations, Service, and Transparency Act of 2015 (iPOST).”
DMA and the American Catalog Mailers Association immediately expressed concern.
“A further extension of postal exigency rates only serves to harm the very businesses — marketers and their solution providers — who are stimulating the economy and who use mail as a key component of their omnichannel marketing plan,” DMA VP of Advocacy Christopher Oswald said in a statement emailed to Target Marketing on Wednesday. “Reversing the expiration of the exigent rates and continuing postal service dependency on them creates an unsustainable business model. The postal service, marketers and the U.S. economy are stronger with a postal service that has fully adapted to the Information Age in its services and business model. We applaud positive steps the postal service has taken to innovate and encourage them [sic] to continue. For its part, DMA will continue its work with congressional leaders to support continued postal service reform and improvement.”
Carper says it’s important to stabilize the USPS, because Americans rely on it and it’s hurting financially.
“The price of postage is currently scheduled to decrease this coming spring, pursuant to orders put forward by the Postal Regulatory Commission and the federal courts,” reads the summary of the bill. “iPOST makes the current temporary rate increase put into place in 2014 permanent, while freezing any further rate increases until a new rate system can be established by the Postal Regulatory Commission by January 1, 2018. The bill also proposes a pause in the postal service’s facility closing and consolidation efforts for two years for mail processing plants and five years for post offices.”
The USPS, however, was pleased by the news, as revealed by its response to Target Marketing’s request for comment on Wednesday.
“The U.S. Postal Service is gratified that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a key aspect of how the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) measured volume losses caused by the Great Recession,” USPS says. “The continuation of the exigent pricing surcharge is critical to the postal service’s financial health, as the commission recognized in its ‘2014 Financial Analysis,’ which acknowledged the significant importance of the exigent rate surcharge that was implemented in January 2014 in the increase in total market dominant revenue for FY2014. We look forward to exploring other issues with the PRC on remand, in accordance with the court order.”
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