NPMHU – 3/29/16 – By Order dated March 29, 2016, the Postal Regulatory Commission has approved new postal rates and product descriptions reflecting removal of the exigent surcharge of approximately 4.3%. The PRC noted that this is the culmination of several Commission orders spanning nearly six years and several Commission dockets. In brief, in 2013, the Postal Service requested — and the Commission approved — an exigent rate increase to offset the losses associated with the Great Recession of 2008–2009. The Commission approved the increase in the form of a temporary surcharge that would be removed once the loss associated with the Great Recession was recovered. Subsequent proceedings and court appeals resulted in a longer period for using these higher, exigent rates, but the exigency period, according to prior Commission orders and court findings, has now come to its end.
Over time, the 4.3 percent exigent surcharge being reversed allowed the Postal Service to collect surcharges totaling $4.6 billion; that amount is expected to be reached next month, by April 10, 2016, explaining why the rate change will take effect then. For example, termination of the exigent surcharge will reduce the cost of mailing a 1-ounce first-class letter from 49 cents to 47 cents, and will cost the USPS approximately $2 billion annually. The impact of this action on the finances of the Postal Service will be felt for years to come.
Follow this link to read PRC Order No. 3186 (pdf) 102 pages