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Postage Hike Gets Delayed

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Washington--The U.S. Postal Service last week rescinded a $72-million across-the-board rate increase for nonprofit mailers due to technical errors it made in calculating some of the the new rates.

But aides to the House Subcommittee on Postal Service Operations said they expected the postal service to correct the errors and raise the rates next month. The rate hikes were to go into effect Jan. 18.

Numerous educational organizations, including schools, benefit from Congressionally subsidized, nonprofit mail rates.

The postal service had already imposed steep rate hikes on nonprofit mailers as of Jan. 1.

Each year since 1970, as part of a 16-year phase-in plan, nonprofit mailers have paid an increased share of the cost of processing their mail. The rate hikes that took effect Jan. 1 accelerated this year's increase, taking nonprofit mailers to the 16th step on the phase-in scale and raising their rates by 15 percent to 25 percent across the board.

But the postal service proposed additional rate increases of from 1 to 13 percent because it had been anticipating a Congressional subsidy of $820 million, which is included in a budget reconciliation measure that has not yet passed in the Congress.--jrs

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