New postage rates go into effect Jan. 8

New postage rates go into effect Jan. 8
Effective Jan. 8, the Postal Service will raise its rates 5.4 percent.

Among the rate adjustments, the single-piece rate for First-Class Mail will increase from 37 cents to 39 cents, and the postcard rate will increase by one cent to 24 cents.

The price change, the first since 2002, is due to a law passed by Congress in 2003 that requires the Postal Service to establish a $3.1 billion escrow account, with use of the funds to be determined by Congress at a later date. Without this federal mandate, it would not have been necessary to raise rates in 2006.

A new 39 cent stamp and 2 cent stamps are on sale now. The 39 cent non-denominated First-Class definitive stamp features the Statue of Liberty and the American flag. The 2 cent stamp features a Navajo silver and turquoise necklace.

In addition to 37,000 postal locations nationwide, customers can purchase the 39 cent and 2 cent stamps, and any other stamps, online at USPS.com or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724). Orders are typically delivered within three business days.

International rates, which are determined separately from domestic prices, will also change Jan. 8 for the first time since 2001. The international increase averages 5.9 percent. The price of a one ounce airmail letter to Canada and Mexico will increase 3 cents to 63 cents, to all other countries the increase will be 4 cents to 84 cents. The cost of an aerogramme will increase 5 cents to 75 cents. For more information on international or domestic rates, visit USPS.com.

When adjusted for inflation the price of a First-Class stamp is the same today as it was in 1971 when the Postal Service was created. The Postal Service has not received taxpayer dollars for operations since 1982.

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