Postal Panel Calls for 'Forever' Stamp; Two-Cent Hike


WASHINGTON (AP) - The independent postal regulatory commission recommended a two-cent increase in the cost of mailing a letter Monday and urged the Post Office to introduce a "forever" stamp valid for first-class postage despite future increases.

The recommendation to increase postage to 41 cents was a penny less than the postal service had requested.

The commission recommended a 26-cent rate for post cards, also a penny less than the Post Office had sought.

The first ounce of a first-class mail would rise to 41 cents, but each additional ounce would cost 17 cents under the proposal. Currently, each additional ounce of first-class mail costs 24 cents.

The matter now goes back to the Board of Governors of the Postal Service for a decision on whether to accept the recommendation or ask the commission to reconsider. If the governors accept the recommendations the new rates could be implemented in 60 days.

A key part of the plan is the so-called forever stamp, which would allow consumers to hedge against future rate increases.