Postal Service looking to increase stamp prices

The cost of sending a letter may go up — again — if the U.S. Postal Service has its way.

The Postal Service is proposing another raise in stamp prices. Under the Postal Service’s new plan, the cost of a first-class stamp would raise 2 cents from 44 cents to 46 cents. The price of sending a postcard would also increase, from 28 cents to 30 cents.

If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the increases would go into effect Jan. 2, 2011 – 20 months after the last time stamp prices rose.

Joseph Breckenridge, the Postal Service’s spokesperson for the state of Alabama, said the Postal Regulatory Commission would decide within 90 days on whether to approve the price changes.

“Everybody knows that the Internet is changing the marketplace. It’s happening to newspapers and magazines, it’s even impacting local TV stations,” he said. “It’s also impacting the Postal Service in a very big way. Our business is changing, and I think people understand that’s where the steady increase in cost comes from.”

At the Columbiana Post Office, Columbiana resident Michele Nielsen said she’s not surprised to hear about prices possibly rising.

“It doesn’t surprise me because of the economy. Everyone’s raising their prices,” she said. “We just have to deal with it.”

Nielsen said, however, she would still continue to use the post office as often, even if prices go up.

Breckenridge said there are about 41,000 possible delivery points, including homes, businesses and post office boxes, in Shelby County.