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Non-profits ought to pay more for their postage

Dec 11, 2012 - Terry Rehak, Worland

Editor:

It is little wonder that the postal service continues to lose money. First-class postage is currently 45 cents and will rise to 46 cents next January. However, the rate for non-profit postage, which vary from 8.7 cents to 17.2 cents, and the pre-sorted postage rates for businesses, which vary from 19.9 cents to 28.1 cents (depending of the website), were apparently not increased at all. This in spite of the fact the postal service is expecting a $15 billion deficit this year. The 1-cent increase is expected to generate an additional $888 million, which will only make a small dent in the revenue shortfall.

Most of us probably receive on the order of two or three pieces of pre-sorted (junk) mail and two or three pieces of non-profit mail to one piece of first-class mail. I recently received an unsolicited advertisement for funeral insurance from a for-profit company. The postage rate was 19.9 cents. Another unsolicited non-profit mailing had a postage rate of only 8.7 cents. Why shouldn't these organizations pay their fair share?

Assuming that we receive pre-sorted and non-profit mail at a ratio of 5:1 over first-class mail, and we raise the rate for both by 10 cents apiece, this would generate an additional $44.4 billion dollars per year.

The big question is, if pre-sorted and non-profit mailings constitute the bulk of mail, why weren't these rates raised at all? They would still be paying far less than the rest of us. Perhaps the members of our congressional delegation could answer that question.

The cluster mailbox concept which is used in a few areas drastically would reduce the delivery time for mail and save millions since fewer postal workers would be required. Why hasn't this been done?

In addition, mail service could be reduced to three or four days a week for most of us, because most of the mail we receive is junk mail ,and most of the bills we receive have a grace period of several days or more. This should save billions more.

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