The U.S. Postal Service is in dire financial straits. If the price of stamps goes down as scheduled in April, it could cost the already hemorrhaging post office $2 billion per year, according to a statement released by USPS.
The planned cost reduction from 49 cents to 47 cents marks the expiration of legislation passed in 2014 that raised the price of stamps for two years in order to ease the post office’s financial woes. The law imposed an “exigent surcharge for mailing products and services,” which raised the price of stamps by three cents to help USPS raise $4.6 billion in revenue. (If the price of stamps does drop in April, the Postal Service will get to keep a one cent increase to account for inflation.)
The Postal Service is desperate for Congress to maintain current stamp prices.
“The exigent surcharge granted to the Postal Service last year only partially alleviated our extreme multi-year revenue declines resulting from the Great Recession, which exceeded $7 billion in 2009 alone,” Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan said in the statement. “Removing the surcharge and reducing our prices is an irrational outcome considering the Postal Service’s precarious financial condition.”
According to CNN Money, the last time stamp prices fell was 97 years ago in July 1919, when first-class stamp prices dropped from three cents to two cents.