By the end of the month, residents are going to see an additional charge more for postage services.

In a couple weeks, residents will be charged more for postage stamps; various mail increases are being implemented Jan. 27.

In October the Governors of the Postal Service filed a proposal before the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for review of the Postal Service’s planned rate adjustments for both market-dominant products and competitive products. The PRC, an independent federal agency, provides regulatory oversight over the U.S. Postal Service.

In mid-November the PRC OK'd the price hike. Forever stamps will soon require an added nickel apiece — boosting the cost of a book of 20 stamps by another dollar, to $11 — while metered letters will go up three cents each, from 47 cents to 50 cents.

However, all changes in pricing aren't increases.

“The single-piece additional ounce price will be reduced to 15 cents — from 21 cents — so a 2-ounce stamped letter, such as a typical wedding invitation, will cost less to mail, decreasing from 71 cents to 70 cents,” according to the PRC.

The current cost is 50 cents plus the 21-cent extra ounce, bringing the price to 71 cents; under the new pricing, the 55-cent initial cost, plus an additional ounce at 15 cents, would equal 70 cents total.

Overall, the adjustments raise mailing services product prices about 2.5 percent.

Shipping services price increases vary, depending on the product. For example, Priority mail express is set to increase 3.9 percent and Priority mail will increase 5.9 percent. Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions.

Rate rules

Rate increases for market-dominant products are required to meet certain statutory and regulatory requirements. For instance, increases can't be more than the rate of inflation, as determined by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act requires, among other things, that rates for competitive products have to produce sufficient revenues to ensure they are not subsidized by market-dominant products.

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