The U.S. Postal Service won’t be raising the price of a fist-class stamp two cents in January, at least not unless they make a better case for the hike to federal regulators.
Postal service regulators said the decline in business for the Postal Service was due more to bad business planning and not the economic recession, and that therefore they could not approve an emergency rate increase. Regulators, however, said Postal Service officials could try new arguments for the increase.
“The Postal Service didn’t make the case, didn’t make the connection between the problems they suffered during the recession and the revenue they were requesting,” said Ruth Goldway, chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Postmaster Genera John Potter said he was disappointed with the decision.
“Clearly, the Postal Service is a viable business,” he said.
Potter blamed some of the Postal Service’s poor performance on legislatively imposed limitations that hurt effective operations and profits. The Postal Service was expected to announce that it lost billions of dollars during the most recently completed fiscal year.
Potter is asking lawmakers for the go ahead to close underperforming post offices and to set routes and pricing without lawmaker approval. Democrats in the Senate have introduced a bill with Potter’s backing, but Republicans are largely opposed to it and may soon introduce their own postal legislation.
Business leader celebrated the commission’s ruling, saying avoiding another rate increase will help businesses and save tens of thousands of jobs.
“The commissioners recognized that imposing an additional tax on Postal Service customers is not the way to address its financial troubles,” said Tony Conway of the Affordable Mail Alliance.