Postal rates going up beginning Sunday |

Postal rates going up beginning Sunday

Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

Get out your pennies, postage is going up.

Starting Sunday first-class letters will carry a 34-cent price tag, and some South Shore residents don’t seem to mind.

“It’s only money,” Charles Smith said. “I don’t know why the heck they don’t make it a flat rate of 35 cents.”

The U.S. Postal Service reports most customers buy 10 stamps instead of just one at a time, which makes the 34-cent postage 10 cents cheaper in bulk than 35-cent stamps – dimes the post office said can quickly add up for businesses.

Although mailing a thank-you card might not break the bank, many other shipping methods are also on the rise.

Everything from priority and express mail to post office box rentals will cost customers more. All types of domestic postage will be increased an average of 4.6 percent, according to the Postal Service.

South Lake Tahoe Postmaster Alice Ynchausti attributed the postage increase to growing business costs, considering the Postal Service relies on the sale of its products and services to cover operating expenses.

Ynchausti said although the first ounce of first-class mail increased by a penny, the second ounce decreased by the same amount.

“There were some good things that happened for the customers and there were some increases,” Ynchausti said. “But the Postal Service is just like any other business, we have to cover our operating costs.”

Post office box rentals went up nationwide, except where no home delivery is offered, like in Zephyr Cove. Ynchausti said the Postal Service is required to provide one form of free mail service to all its customers.

The new 34-cent stamps are only offered in books or coils, 100 stamps, until the single stamps are released, which Ynchausti said could take a month.

Effective Sunday: new postal rate changes

– First-class mail weighing up to 1 ounce will increase from 33 cents to 34 cents; each additional ounce will decrease from 22 cents to 21 cents.

– Priority mail will increase from $3.20 to $3.50.

– Express mail will increase from $11.75 to $12.25.

– South Lake Tahoe post office box rentals will increase from $14 to $16.

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