Postal rate hike awaits the stamp of approval |

Postal rate hike awaits the stamp of approval

Susan Wood

South Lake Tahoe resident Ian Farquhar mails a letter at the main post office on Thursday afternoon. / Photos by Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

A segment of South Lake Tahoe residents said Thursday they’ll greet a proposed 2-cent hike in the price of a stamp next year just like any other inflationary increase.

This week the Postal Rate Commission approved the increase that would take the cost of a first-class stamp to 39 cents and add a penny to mailing a postcard to 24 cents. The Postal Service requested the increase last April. The proposal is due to go before the Board of Governors on Monday. It may approve, modify or reject the plan.

“I’m not surprised. Everything goes up, but I’ll still use stamps,” Ade Spande said while standing outside the main branch of the post office off Al Tahoe Boulevard.

The majority of the 10 people polled informally said the method of mailing is still a bargain.

Some technophobes even prefer it.

“I love snail mail. I was raised in the mountains,” Lisa Corthell said, balking at switching to e-mail or electronic bill paying. “My 12-year-old son knows more about computers than I do. He tells me: ‘Mom, I can teach you.'”

Recommended Stories For You

At 31 years old, Corthell said her young friends harass her about “getting with the 21st century.”

Richard Lynn uses his computer to pay all his bills but added there’s always some transaction requiring mailing through the post office. He flashed an envelope on his way into the building.

Craig Grasteit said he may decide to pay his bills electronically, but on Thursday his computer had crashed.

“I don’t trust the security anyway,” he said.

And Trish Miller said she doesn’t mind paying for stamps. She was about to buy special-issue stamps with proceeds earmarked for research and treatment services for breast cancer patients.

Senior clerk Tom Millham said some customers have asked why the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t just raise the price of a stamp a dime than leave it for 10 years instead of making incremental increases.

“They have to show they need a certain amount,” he said.

When the price of a stamp goes up, the Postal Service shows a pattern of making money in the first year, breaking even in the second and losing in the third. That’s why they establish rate hikes on a three-year cycle. Postage rates last increased in June 2002.

Other recommendations include priority mail’s base rate up 20 cents to $4.05 and certified mail up a dime to $2.40.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.