USPS boosts stamp prices

WASHINGTON D.C. – Beginning Jan. 8, postal customers will find it a little more expensive to mail that letter or package.

The U.S. Postal Service is raising the rate of its first class stamp to 39-cents as part of an across- the-board rate hike. The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service approved the rate increases this past November.

A spokesman for the post office said the increases are necessary to bring the postal service into compliance with a 2003 federal law which requires them to maintain a $3.1 billion escrow account. With Internet and other package delivery service use at an all-time time the newer rates are needed to maintain that account.

Among the other prices to increase are post cards which go up from 23 to 23-cents, Priority mail from a base $3.85 to $4.05 and Express mail from a base of $13.65 to $14.40.

New price-New stamps

To help customers transition into the new rate, two stamps went into circulation last month. These stamps are a 39-cent definitive stamp and a 2-cent makeup stamp that can be used with the older 37-cent stamps.

The 39-cent non-denominated First-Class definitive stamp features an image of the Statue of Liberty and the American flag. Dedicated Oct. 28, 1886, the statue serves as a symbol of political freedom and democracy for millions of people around the world. The stamp will be available in panes and booklets of 20, coils of 100 and coils of 1,000 for business customers.

A reprint of the two-cent definitive issued in 2004, the Navajo Jewelry two-cent stamp features a painted detail of a Navajo silver and turquoise necklace with sand-cast “squash blossoms” set with polished blue turquoise nuggets. The stamp is available in panes of 20.

This month the postal service will release several more stamp series with the new rates on them.

Among the first class offerings with be the Childrens Books set which includes such popular fictional characters was Wilber from “Charlottes Web,” a Wild Thing from “Where the Wild Things Are,” Curious George and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.