It will cost more to send a letter starting in January under a proposal from the US Postal Service. The agency wants to increase the cost of stamps by 3 cents to 49 cents, and the cost of mailing a postcard to 34 cents. The hikes would raise $2 billion for the struggling USPS, which has exhausted a $15 billion loan from taxpayers. The agency is cracking under the weight of a Congressional mandate to make $5 billion in annual payments to future retiree health care benefits combined with declining mail volume (37.9 billion pieces of mail were processed in the second quarter, down from 38.3 billion last year).
The USPS lost $740 million in the second quarter, and $3.9 billion so far this fiscal year. If nothing else, that’s an improvement over last year, when the second quarter brought a $5.2 billion loss, and the fiscal year ended $16 billion in the red.