The United States Postal Service will raise the price of “Forever” stamps to compensate for inflation.
The first-class stamps will now cost 66 cents, a 3-cent increase. Additionally, the postal service will raise the price of 1-ounce metered mail to 63 cents unless the mail is being sent internationally, which will cost $1.50. The price of postcards is set to rise to 51 cents.
The cost to send single-piece letters and the flat additional-ounce price will not be changed to compensate for inflation.
USPS warned of the coming changes in April, stating it had filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission.
“As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan,” the USPS said in its statement. “The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world.”
Despite this, the cost of mail has steadily increased in the U.S. for decades.
“In 1974, the price to mail a first-class letter went up to 10 cents. By 1981, less than a decade later, it doubled,” reports the Detroit Free Press. “In 1988, it jumped a quarter, and in 2018, it had doubled again to 50 cents. The next year, the price went up another 5 cents, and has been going up 2-3 cents at time since.”
There has also been a decline in the volume of first-class mail sent through the USPS. A study into the financial viability of the USPS was conducted at the behest of former President Donald Trump in April 2018.
During his administration, Trump created a task force to investigate the USPS and determine its future. Trump warned that the postal service was on “an unsustainable financial path” and “must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout,” per The New York Post.
USPS reported its 12th consecutive year of financial losses in November 2018, totaling $3.9 billion. The postal service then turned to Congress for help, arguing obligatory employee health benefits and pension payments were an unmanageable burden and prevent it from being profitable.
“Absent legislative and regulatory change, we cannot generate enough revenue or cut enough costs to pay off our bills,” said Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan in a statement, per The Chicago Sun-Times. “The flawed business model imposed by law continues to be the root cause of our financial instability.”
The change goes into effect on July 9, leaving roughly nine days to buy “Forever” stamps at their current price.