Faced with a projected $7 billion deficit and an ever-shrinking mail volume due to email, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has requested a postage increase officials say will "add less than 13 cents a month to the average American household's budget."
If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the price of a First Class stamp will increase by 2 cents - to 46 cents on January 2, 2011. The price of a postcard would also increase 2 cents -- to 30 cents.
The postal service hopes this postage increase - the seventh in the last ten years - will generate about $2.3 billion in revenue for the first nine months of 2011.
According to Postmaster General John E. Potter, the proposed increase is just one of several solutions being pursued by the Postal Service to regain financial stability without placing an unreasonable burden on consumers.
"There is no one single solution to the dire financial situation that the Postal Service faces," Potter said in a press release. "These proposed rate adjustments are moderate and part of a fair and balanced approach to insuring mail service for all Americans well into the future."
Other cost-cutting measures proposed by the USPS last March include ending Saturday mail delivery, restructure the Postal Service retirement system, closing underutilized post offices and introducing more new mailing products.