A postal tradition, stamp prices up again

David VanDyke
David VanDyke
Les Murata
Les Murata

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The price of stamps is up yet again. Starting Monday, customers had to shell out a couple more pennies to mail a letter in the U.S.

It now costs $.44 instead of $.42.

If it seems like lately, postage prices are always going up, you're right on the money.

You could say it's the start of a postal tradition. Since 2007, every Monday after Mother's Day, stamp prices went up, and you can expect that to happen every year from here on out.

That's because in 2006, a new Postal Law took effect. It raises stamp prices based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), so this year's rate hike is based on last year's CPI.

At the Post Office at the Honolulu International Airport Monday afternoon, customers didn't seem to mind the new price tag on stamps, even with the troubled economy.

"I remember when they were $.13. That was a long time ago. And now, $.44 is too much to mail a first class letter but it's the way things are, so I don't have a problem with it," said David VanDyke of Foster Village.

"They're taking the rate increase as it comes and they understand, because the economy is bad, and they know the Post Office hasn't recovered because we don't get tax money. This is the way we make our money," said Les Murata, a postal clerk.

For those who are having a case of 'I remember when...', here's a look back at some postage rates.

The cheapest was $.02, which was in 1883. In the Swinging Sixties, stamps were $.06 in 1968. In the bell bottom generation, it shot up to $.15 in 1978. For you 80's babies, you may remember stamps were a $.25. Fast forward to today, 21 years later, the price is nearly two dimes more.

Since the postal law took effect, stamps have gone up $.02 per year. And since the increases are now annual, investing in forever stamps may be a good idea.