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Stamp Prices on the Rise

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SALISBURY, Md. - Sending a letter is about to get a little more expensive.

The cost of mailing a letter with a first-class stamp jumped from 46 cents to 49 cents. Sunday's 3-cent hike is the largest increase in consumer postage prices in more than a decade.

The United States Postal Regulatory Commission approved the increase to help the postal service regain billions of dollars in losses that stem from the Great Recession.

In a statement, PRC Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway said, "The postal service will be reimbursed for losses that can be reasonably quantified."

Goldway said that amount totals to $2.8 billion to cover the 25.3 billion pieces of volume lost between 2008 and 2011.

The price increase, that can't last more than two years, will help the postal service get that money back.

Libby Smith, who uses the service often, isn't looking forward to paying more.

"It will affect my pocket," Smith said. "Not only mine, but others who are on fixed incomes.

David Kelley thinks the price hike isn't the best solution.

"I think it will push a lot of people to pay their bills online," Kelley said. "There's a lot of people that do that.

Adam Castelbaum is one of them.

"It's easier for the consumer. They don't have to go out of their way to buy a stamp to mail a letter, or anything like that," Castelbaum said. " You can just sit at home and take care of what you've got to take care of."

Unlike Castelbaum, Cornell Turner prefers the good old fashion way to keep in touch or pay her bills.

"You never know what's out there," Turner said. " You don't know about the fraud or who is after who, so I'm just willing to put a stamp on it and let it go."

People who use "forever" stamps won't have to worry about the stamp price increase. Those stamps are valid no matter the price the consumer paid.

The Postal Service may push for a 1-cent increase in price in 2015 and 2016, since the PRC rejected a permanent price hike of three cents.

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