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You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant 49-cent stamp

49-cent stamp

The cost of mailing a letter is about to go up to 49 cents.


The United States Postal Service recently announced proposed price changes, including an increase in the price of a First-Class Mail single-piece letter from 46 cents to 49 cents. The proposed changes, which would go into effect in January, are intended to generate $2 billion in incremental annual revenue for the Postal Service.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 26, include:

 w Letters (1 oz.) — 3-cent increase to 49 cents

 w Letters additional ounces — 1-cent increase to 21 cents

 w Letters to all international destinations (1 oz.) — $1.15

 w Postcards — 1-cent increase to 34 cents

Stamp prices have stayed consistent with the average annual rate of inflation of 4.2 percent since the Postal Service was formed in 1971, postal officials said when announcing the proposed increase.

But this rate hike is different. The Governors of the Postal Service voted Sept. 24 to seek price increases above the typical annual increases associated with changes in the Consumer Price Index in an effort to lessen the “precarious financial condition” of the Postal Service and the “uncertain path toward enactment of postal reform legislation.” 

The price adjustment above the Consumer Price Index increase is necessary in order to ensure that the Postal Service will be able to maintain and continue the development of postal services of the type and quality that America needs, according to Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett who described the increase as “a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges.” 

The Postal Service recorded a $15.9 billion net loss last fiscal year and expects to record a loss of roughly $6 billion in the current fiscal year, and has an intolerably low level of available liquidity even after defaulting on its obligation to make prefunding payments for retiree health benefits.


Red Ribbon Week

The National Family Partnership® (NFP) is holding a national contest for its 28th annual Red Ribbon Week®, Oct. 23-31.

And county students and their families can enter to win $1,000 for their K-12 school and an iPad for their home. Here’s how:

1. Students bring the Red Ribbon Week® message home by working alongside their parents to decorate their front door, mailbox or fence with a red ribbon using this year’s theme, “A Healthy Me Is Drug Free™.”

2. Take a photo with the family and your Red Ribbon Week® decoration, then upload to by Nov. 4, and contest rules require someone 18 or older to upload the photos.

3. The voting begins! Ask your family and friends to vote for your entry at Nov. 5-19. Ten lucky winners from regions across the U.S. will win.

Winners will be announced at on Dec. 6 and recognized at winning schools throughout December.

The nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention campaign is expected to reach more than 80 million people nationwide.

The DEA is co-sponsoring this year’s national contest. 


Visit for more contest information.