Postage rates may still go up
The price of postage stamps may still increase to 46 cents next year. The U.S. Postal Service plans to appeal a regulator's decision to deny permission to raise rates by 2 cents.
The Postal Service will appeal the Sept. 30 ruling by the Postal Regulatory Commission to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, asking the court to review the regulator's interpretation of the 2006 postal reform act. The law allows USPS to file an exigent -- or immediate -- rate case based on "extraordinary circumstances."
The Postal Service filed an exigent rate case this summer, hoping to raise about $2.3 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2011. The mail agency argued that the economic downturn had caused a rapid decline in mail volume, requiring a price hike above the rate of inflation. Regulators agreed that the recession had contributed to a slump in mail volume, but said the USPS business model was more to blame.
"We have a fundamental disagreement with the PRC's interpretation of the law," Postmaster General John E. Potter said Friday. "This action is an investment in our future. We need to understand and define the rules under the current law should the Postal Service find itself in a similar situation in the future."
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