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Analysis finds USPS woes demand stamp price jump to 60 cents

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. Postal Service worker Dianne Zambelli places a sleeve of newly dedicated Henry David Thoreau postage stamps for purchase in a bag at Walden Pond in Concord, Mass., in May. The U.S. Postal Service would need to boost prices for mailing letters and packages by nearly 20 percent if it hopes to have enough cash on hand to avoid bankruptcy. That means the price of a first-class stamp could jump from 49 cents to nearly 60 cents, the biggest one-time increase in its history.

WASHINGTON >> A 60 cent postage stamp? An industry analysis says the U.S. Postal Service would need to boost prices for mailing letters and packages by nearly 20 percent to avoid bankruptcy. It would be the biggest one-time increase in its history.

The Postal Service is seeking the power to raise stamp rates beyond the rate of inflation. That would add substantially to the cost of mailing prescription drugs and magazines. Packaging and bulk-mail rates also would be affected, straining tight budgets for state and local governments that distribute election ballots by mail.

The Postal Service did not dispute the industry’s analysis.

The Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Postal Service, is expected to act within weeks on the request to raise rates.

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