The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has responded to the language in the congressional report on last year’s Consolidated Appropriations Act requiring them to study the impact of events on rates during and after the pandemic, and report back to the Appropriations Committee within 270 days of enactment – which should be in December.
From the House of Representatives Appropriations Report:
“Rate Increases for Market-Dominant Products—The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) required the PRC to review the existing Market Dominant rate and classification system 10 years after the enactment of the PAEA. Based on this review, the PRC adopted rules in November 2020 providing greater pricing flexibility to the United States Postal Service (USPS). USPS has used this expanded authority to propose increasing certain postal rates effective August 20, 2021, by approximately 7 percent.
The Committee is concerned with the size and timing of the rate increase and that the PAEA process did not account for the impact of the pandemic, including factors such as higher package revenues and emergency funding provided to the USPS.
The PRC is directed to study these factors and report to the Committee within 270 days on how these factors should impact the rate increases”
To that end the PRC is offering all interested mailing stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on the issues identified by the report language, which can be read in full text here: H.R. 435 117-79 Page 100.
You can send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to the Commission at 901 New York Av,, N.W., Ste. 200 Washington, DC 20268 by July 31st 2022.
How did we get here?
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 directed the PRC to established a system for regulating rates and classes for Market-dominant products that includes an annual limitation on the percentage changes in rates.
This same law also mandated that the PRC review the existing Market-Dominant rate and classification system 10 years after the enactment of the PAEA to determine if the system achieved the PAEA’s nine objectives, considering the 14 factors established by Congress.
In November 2020 the PRC issued Order No. 5763 granting the USPS additional rate authorities now known as the density factor, retirement factor, and the non-compensatory surcharge. The application of these factors resulted in above inflationary postage rate increases in August 2021, and for the proposed ones for July 2022.
The consequence has been compounded double digit increases across all classes of mail.
Make your voices heard and respond to PRC request for comment and input.