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First-class stamps to cost 49 cents as of Jan. 26

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Stamps are seen in this undated file photo.

Stamps are seen in this undated file photo. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes)

It will soon cost a little bit more to mail a letter. Postal regulators on Tuesday approved a temporary 3-cent price hike for a first-class stamp, bringing the new cost to 49 cents.

Regulators rejected a request to make the price hike permanent. The change takes effect Jan. 26 and will last no more than two years, allowing the Postal Service to recoup $2.8 billion in losses.

The independent Postal Regulatory Commission said the change is justified by mail volume decreases since 2008.

Regulators said the Postal Service has to come up with a plan to phase out the higher rates once the lost revenue is recouped. It's unclear if that would take rates for first-class postage back to 46 cents in 2016 or to a different level.

Forever stamps, good for first-class postage whatever the rate, can be purchased at the lower price until Jan. 26.

Bulk mail, periodicals and package service rates will go up 6 percent.

The mail industry opposes the price increases. It says charities using mass mailings and bookstores competing with Amazon will suffer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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