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New Postal Rates

The 32-cent stamp is about to join the dustbins of history, and for thousands of Americans, the thimble-size patch of adhesive paper will soon become but a distant memory.

The new 33-cent stamp, and a bundle of other rate changes, will go into effect for all mail posted on and after Jan. 10.

According to postal service employees, it’s about time.



“This is the first increase in three years,” said Tom Millham, office clerk at the Main South Lake Tahoe Post Office. “It was necessary to cover rising costs of living, such as transportation, fuel, wages and advanced technology. Considering everything combined, it was definitely time to make the adjustment.”

The penny increase, which only applies to the first ounce of mailed material, is a minor increase compared to 2 to 3 cent increases in the past. In fact, Millham said, it is the smallest increase ever.




The good news is that shipping costs for each additional ounce after that, on articles weighing between 2 and 11 ounces, shipping costs are dropping from 23 cents to 22 cents.

“For each ounce you drop a penny,” Millham said. “For people who ship things in this weight bracket on a regular basis, this is a good deal. There’s a lot of savings there.”

The priority rate, identified as the “anywhere in the U.S. for $3” rate, will jump to $3.20 and express mail rates will increase from $10.75 to $11.75. Also, postal box rental fees will increase from $20 to $24 a year.

“Of course people who get home delivery don’t have to pay anything,” Millham said.

Lastly, money order fees will drop 5 cents, from 85 to 80 cents.

“If anyone has any questions, the clerks at the post offices will have all the information,” Millham said. “Or you can contact our Web site at http://www.usps.gov.”

The 33-cent stamps have been available for about two weeks, but Millham said post offices are selling 1-cent stamps to make up the difference for people who still have booklets of the old 32-cent stamps.

“The penny stamps are available at our offices and in the vending machines,” Millham said. “We’re asking people to only buy what they need because we’ve got just about enough to cover the transition. Last time we did this people were coming in and buying them in droves. I’m really not sure why.”

SIDEBAR: PO HOURS OF OPERATION

n The Main South Lake Tahoe Office, Tahoe Valley Station and Stateline Station are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The main office is also open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

n Bijou Station is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

n Tahoe Paradise Station is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

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