New United States Postal Service postage rates went into effect on Monday.
The USPS announced on Sept. 2013 that rates would have a 3 cent increase, beginning in 2014. Stamps will now cost 49 cents for 1 ounce or less.
Postage prices have stayed consistent with the 4.2 percent average rate of inflation since the creation of the USPS in 1971.
“As far as customers on a local level, they understand that this is tied to the rate of inflation so we haven’t had much backlash from them around here,” said David Walton, media spokesman for the Kentucky and Tennessee USPS branches.
The increases will result in an estimated $2 billion in revenue for the USPS during a tough financial time.
“Of the options currently available to the Postal Service to align costs and revenues, increasing postage prices is a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges,” wrote USPS Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett in a letter to consumers in September.
Additional increases would increase the additional ounces for letters with a 1 cent raise to 21 cents; international 1 ounce or less letters were raised to $1.15; and postcards increased 1 cent to 34 cents for an average postcard.
“America needs a postal service that is financially stable, and we will continue to take the difficult steps necessary to meet our obligations as a self-funding organization that serves every American business and residence,” wrote Barnett.
If you purchased Forever stamps before the postage increase these can still be used to mail envelopes.
Stamps with a cent cost printed on them will need additional stamps to meet the 49 cent postage requirement.
Kelsey Gerhardt may be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.