First-class stamps to increase to 39 cents

Get your holiday greetings and packages out now because if you wait until after the New Year, you’ll have to pay 2 cents more.

Starting Jan. 8, the price of a first-class stamp will increase from 37 cents to 39 cents. The new 39-cent stamps are already on sale, as are 2-cent stamps.

The increase stems in part from a congressional mandate to create a $3.1 billion escrow account for the postal service’s employee pension fund.

The U.S. Postal Service has raised rates for first-class mail several times in recent years, the latest in June 2002 when it raised the price of stamps three cents to the current rate of 37 cents. — CINDY KIBBE

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