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USPS proposes hiking stamp prices early next year

The Postal Service is struggling to keep up with rising gas and labor costs due to inflation.

MINNEAPOLIS — The U.S. Postal Service is seeking again to increase First-Class Mail prices by more than four percent, which would hike the cost of a Forever Stamp from 60 to 63 cents. 

The proposal, announced late last week, is expected to be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission. It would take effect on Jan. 22, 2023. 

"It was widely expected," said Paul Steidler, a senior fellow with the public policy think tank Lexington Institute. "It's a significant increase though and we're likely to have much more of these increases in the future."

Just six months ago, President Joe Biden signed a law designed to stabilize the Postal Service's financial outlook. However, USPS continues to face challenges, particularly with inflation.

"They're getting hit hard on two fronts. They use a lot of gasoline and gas prices are up," Steidler said. "It's also a very labor-intensive business, especially because of the slower and more time-consuming delivery of packages. So, its labor costs have gone up."

In addition to the proposed increase in stamp prices, the Postal Service has already implemented a temporary price hike on First-Class mail and packages that will last through the holiday shopping season. 

Michael Mayfield, a frequent USPS user in the Twin Cities, said he still pays most of his bills through the mail. 

"Yeah, it'll impact me. You know, I'm not really tech-savvy, I don't do email," Mayfield said. "The post office plays a big part in my life in terms of providing a service for me." 

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