It's going to cost a little bit more to mail that letter the next time you go to the post office.
The cost of a standard, first class stamp will rise by one penny, from $.45 to $.46, on Jan. 27, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service reports. This will be the second year in a row that the cost of stamps have risen by one cent.
The Postal Service urges its customers to purchase Forever Stamps at $.45 cents per stamp before the price change. They will also rise to $.46 on January 27.
Once bought, the Forever Stamps can be used indefintely and will remain applicable for one-ounce letters, even when postage rates rise.
A new, Global Forever Stamp will also be available for consumers. With these stamps, any letter can be shipped anywhere overseas for the flat rate of $1.10.
Other services that have also increased rates, according to stamps.com, include:
- A one cent increase to $0.33 cents from $0.32 cents for postcards
- Express Mail will increase an average of 5.9 percent
- Priority Mail prices will increase an average of 6.3 percent. Online discounted rates will increase 3.7 percent
- Rates for First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 3 percent
- Parcel Post (renamed Standard Post) will increase an average of 6.3 percent
- Parcel Select will increase an average of 9 percent
- Certified Mail will increase by 5.1 percent
Since the national postal service does not receive funding from taxpayer money, the department relies on sales of its products and services to maintain its operating budget. Federal law says that the post office can raise prices based only on the inflation rate, which is 2.7 percent. Anything more has to be approved by Congress.
According to USA Today, the Postal Service reported an annual loss of $15.9 billion in November, tripling the $5.1 billion loss in 2011. Approximately $11 billion of the loss is tied to labor expenses, primarily from a law passed by Congress in 2006 that requires the Postal Service to fully prepay the retirement health care fund for the next 75 years by 2016.
FedEx and UPS also announced rate increases for 2013. According to Reuters, the average cost for ground shipments and home deliveries will rise 4.9 percent for FedEx and 4.9 percent for UPS.