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New Postal Rates Go Into Effect This Sunday

January 07, 1999|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The cost of sending most letters will rise by a penny to 33 cents on Sunday despite a four-year run of strong profits by the Postal Service.

Postal officials said the increase is needed because rising costs are eating into income.

It will also cost more to mail newspapers, magazines and most packages, although the price of mailing heavier letters will fall.

Sunday's increase had been expected to take effect last summer. It was postponed at the urging of the Postal Rate Commission and Congress, which noted the continuing strong profits being rung up by the Postal Service.

The post office made a profit of $550 million for the fiscal year that ended in September, after three years of profits of more than $1 billion. The Postal Service still faces about $4 billion in losses accumulated since 1971.

The first 33-cent stamp went on sale Tuesday. In addition, there are millions of nondenominated "H" rate stamps available at post offices to cover the 33-cent rate, as well as 1-cent stamps that can be added to leftover 32-centers.

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