Ed Driscoll

POSTAL RATE INCREASE APPROVED: AP

POSTAL RATE INCREASE APPROVED: AP is reporting that Americans will be paying an additional 3 cents to mail a letter this summer.

The independent Postal Rate Commission on Friday gave its approval to an unprecedented agreement on postage prices, reached by the post office and nearly all of the businesses and organizations that normally fight rate changes vigorously.

All that remains now is for the postal governing board to set the date, probably around June 30.

The decision gives the post office “breathing room” after it was strapped by the economic slowdown and costs related to anthrax-tainted mail, said Rate Commission Chairman George Omas.

A couple of years ago, Rick Merritt, Executive Director of the non-profit watchdog group PostalWatch, while calling for a hiring freeze said,