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USPS is hiking the price of a stamp to 66 cents in July — a 32% increase since 2019

USPS wants to raise stamp price to $0.66
USPS wants to raise stamp price to $0.66 00:15

The U.S. Postal Service will soon be raising the price of its first-class stamps to 66 cents, an increase of 4.8% from its current 63 cents. The move, announced by the USPS in April, is the latest in a flurry of rate boosts that will result in the cost of a first-class stamp rising nearly one-third since 2019.

The latest hike will go into effect July 9. Under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the money-losing agency has embarked on a 10-year plan to get on a path to profitability — with higher postage rates as part of the blueprint.

The July 2023 price hike will represent the fifth increase since early 2019, when a Forever stamp cost 50 cents. The higher postage prices haven't come without criticism, however, with some postal experts pointing out that customers are paying more while getting less for their money. 

That's because the 10-year plan has slowed the post office's delivery standard for mail to six days, down from its prior goal of three-day delivery to any destination within the U.S. And the series of price hikes means that the cost of a postage stamp has soared much higher than inflation, which has jumped 20% in the same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Forever stamp honoring the life of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis will be issued on July 21 at the new rate of 66 cents. USPS

The USPS said the latest price hike is needed to offset higher operating expenses "fueled by inflation" as well as "the effects of a previously defective pricing model." 

The higher cost for stamps will "provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," it said in an April statement.

Other postage fees will also rise in July, USPS said. For instance, postcards sent within the U.S. will rise to 51 cent, from 48 cents currently, while international letters will rise by 5 cents to $1.50. Together, the various price hikes represent a boost of 5.4%, the agency said. 

The Postal Regulatory Commission, the federal regulator that oversees the postal agency, reviewed the rate increases and approved them in May. The increases had already been approved by the governors of the U.S. Postal Service.

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